Robert Vargas


RobertVargas2012@u.northwestern.edu
Advisor: Freese

Areas of Interest

Urban Sociology, Sociology of Organizations, Social Psychology

 

Current Research

Studies on the geographic concentration of violent crime typically focus on the individual as the unit of analysis, often ignoring the role of institutions and organizations in the social construction of violent hotspots. Through a three-year neighborhood case study, my research highlights the role of middlemen and neighborhood organization leadership in the social construction of violent crime hotspots. Based on fieldwork with violence prevention organizations, observations of public spaces, and a household survey of neighborhood residents, I have found that factors such as the incarceration of gang leaders, funding priorities of philanthropic organizations, employee turnover at non-profits, and city politics disrupt the local social order. Even further, these factors consistently undermine the neighborhood’s ability to build social capital and collective efficacy. These findings may contribute to understanding inconsistent results with regards to the social effects of mass incarceration, as well as theories of social mechanisms.

 

Awards/Honors

2010 – National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2010 – Northwestern University Graduate Research Grant

2009 - Robert F. Winch Award For Outstanding Second Year Paper

2009 – Spencer Foundation Research Grant (co-PI with Lincoln Quillian)

2008-2011 Fellow of the Multi-Disciplinary Program in Educational Sciences

2008 – MacArthur Summer Research Grant (co-PI with Lincoln Quillian)

2005 – Ronald E. McNair Scholar

FACULTY SEARCHES

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY's Department of Sociology invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track, Assistant Professor position to begin in the Fall of 2015.  More information.


NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY'S Department of Sociology invites applications for a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure eligible faculty appointment as Assistant Professor of Instruction, beginning September 1, 2015. More infromation.


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Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching provides a variety of programs and workshops for graduate students and faculty interested in developing their teaching practices. In addition, the Searle Center offers a variety of programs for graduate students seeking to develop their skills as Teaching Assistant (TA) and instructor , such as, a yearly conference for new TA's, a teaching certificate program and fellowship opportunities.


 

Upcoming Events

"The Humanities in the Age of Ecological Catastrophe” with Deborah Coen and Timothy Morton
November 4, 20144:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Ethnography Workshop: David Schaillol, University of Chicago
November 4, 20145:00 PM - 6:30 PM

March 29, 2012