Spring Colloquium Series 2023

Apr 17, 2023, 12:00 pm1:15 pm



Event Description

About this talk:

The City is a violent project. And metropolises that have thrived the most have spilled the most blood in turf wars over power, resources, and territory. Gangs, long stigmatized as the destructive force in urban development, have in fact played a vital role in shaping the very streets we walk on today. This book excavates the hidden history of gangs and their impact on the creation of The Great American City. From the founding of Chicago to the present day, young people have formed neighborhood groups, who have both built and destroyed. White gangs fiercely defended their turf during their early years only to evolve into the architects of the city's future, building higher walls and deeper trenches to fortify the boundaries around gangland. Black and Latino gangs, however, faced a far more arduous path in their quest for upward mobility. Confronted with limited resources and a harsh "War on Gangs," they fought to pave a way out of poverty through organizing, mobilizing, voting, protesting, and rebelling. But too often, Black gangs were corralled or contained, trapped in a never-ending cycle of poverty and violence in neighborhood prisons constructed through a century of violent city making.

About the speaker:

Andrew Papachristos is a Professor of Sociology and Faculty Fellow at Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research, and the Founding Faculty Director of Corners: the Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science. Papachristos’ research aims to understand how the connected nature of cities—how their citizens, neighborhoods, and institutions are tied to one another—affect what we feel, think, and do. His main area of research applies network science to the study of gun violence, police misconduct, illegal gun markets, street gangs, and urban neighborhoods. Papachristos is actively involved in policy-related research, including the evaluation of gun violence prevention programs in more than a dozen U.S. cities.