Chicago School References
May 9, 2010 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Please suggest concise references on the Chicago school of sociology, that are relevant to planning.

I'm looking for some short-ish articles that provide a review of the Chicago School of sociology, that are similar to this Wikipedia article, but that are more reputable for citation purposes. I've had trouble finding this via google, as I'm not certain what keywords to be using as I am unfamiliar with this work. I am interested in learning about their philosophy of applied quantitative analysis. Thanks!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Taken straight from the wiki page on criminology:

In the 1920s, Park and Burgess identified five concentric zones that often exist as cities grow, including the "zone in transition" which was identified as most volatile and subject to disorder. In the 1940s, Henry McKay and Clifford R. Shaw focused on juvenile delinquents, finding that they were concentrated in the zone of transition.

But with big names like that you'll have no problem finding references to quantifying crime rates as it related to city planning. It was revolutionary.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:53 PM on May 9, 2010

Thanks hal_c_on, but I'm looking for a general review of their approaches and major contributions, rather than specific examples of researchers.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 5:36 PM on May 9, 2010

Shaw and McKay, 1929/1969 , "Juvenile delinquency in urban areas" is a book, but pretty much one of THE resources in this area. Also try Google Scholar
"social disorganization theory"
"Chicago school"
"social disorganization & collective efficacy"

That should turn up a lot of the type of results that you're looking for. If they reference Shaw, McKay, Park, Burgess, and so on, then it's what you'd want.

I emphasize again that social disorganization theory is exactly what you're looking for in terms of major contributions from the Chicago school. The idea that crime was due to a mixture of social and place-based factors was a revolutionary notion, the crime map that was produce in the 1929 study was one of the first of its kind (and no one really continued crime mapping until the late 1980s) and their work eventually spawned studies of crime in communities, as opposed to crime among individuals. They're still really, really influential in criminology, so it's not hard to find reference to them in current literature.

Here's the problem, though: you can buy/ borrow the book from the library, or look over the literature reviews in journal articles, but it's hard to find something that's just a summary and that's worth citing (although I'll watch this thread to see if there's something that I've missed). Of course the Google book preview has most of the content anyway.
posted by _cave at 8:06 PM on May 9, 2010

Oh--and I don't know what you mean by "and that are relevant to planning". What kind of planning?
posted by _cave at 4:51 AM on May 10, 2010

I meant urban planning - this quote from wikipedia sums up the theme I would like to learn more about:

The structures, forms, and patterns are relatively easy to observe and measure, but they are nothing more than evidence of underlying processes and functions which are the real constitutive forces in nature and society. The Chicago School wanted to develop tools by which to research and then change society by directing urban planning and social intervention agencies. It recognized that urban expansion was not haphazard but quite strongly controlled by community-level forces such as land values, zoning ordinances, landscape features, circulation corridors, and historical contingency. This was characterized as ecological because the external factors were neither chance nor intended, but rather arose from the natural forces in the environment which limit the adaptive spatial and temporal relationships between individuals. The School sought to derive patterns from a study of processes, rather than to ascribe processes to observed patterns and the patterns they saw emerge, are strongly reminiscent of Clements' ideas of community development.

Thanks for your suggestions, _cave
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:52 AM on May 10, 2010

Environmental criminology, is a sort-of offshoot of some of the thinking behind the Chicago school that might interest you. Simon Fraser University, Brantingham and Brantingham being the major names in this area. The linked article devotes some discussion to the Chicago school specifically.
posted by _cave at 8:42 AM on May 10, 2010

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