This course explores perspectives on street gangs and criminal activity; the street-level practice of policing and efforts at police reform; the youth experience of policing; advances in the social science of adolescence, trauma, and victimization; community-based anti-violence action and “community policing,” and efforts to promote criminal desistance at the individual level and decarceration at the structural level. Complementing excursions and the practicum, students will engage with in-class informants with wide-ranging vantage points on these topics including police officers, community organization leaders, former gang members, scholars, and policy-makers and administrators. Our approaches will include discussion and lecture; ethnographic, journalistic, and policy-oriented readings; and documentary films and other media, with much of our focus trained on Chicago. The course was designed by, and will be co-taught by, two sociologists in the Public Policy Studies program at the University of Chicago, Sorcha Brophy and Chad Broughton, who will each offer one class per week over the six-week summer session.
This course is part of the UChicago Urban Studies Program.