Neighborhoods plays an important role in structuring the life chances of the urban poor. In this course, we will use Washington, DC to explore the causes and consequences of neighborhood poverty and inequality. Drawing on recent sociological research, the course begins by asking why neighborhoods matter. We examine four urban policy issues – housing, crime, health and education – to understand the central role that neighborhoods play in shaping the opportunities available to city residents. As a community-based learning seminar, students are required to spend at least four hours each week working with a community-based organization in Washington, DC. This community work complements the academic and policy components of the course, offering students an opportunity to consider multiple dimensions of urban neighborhood inequalities. The course concludes by considering the role of community organizations, especially in the context of rapid gentrification in Washington, DC.
Click here for the Fall 2014 Syllabus.