Department of Sociology

Mapping Chicago’s 1919 race riots

On the afternoon of July 27, 1919, Eugene Williams drifted across an imaginary color line in the water at 29th Street Beach. Soon, white residents began throwing stones, preventing the black teenager from coming ashore. His drowning sparked the largest race riots Chicago has ever seen—a week that saw 38 deaths and hundreds of injuries. A century later, a University of Chicago scholar and a team of students have helped shed light on that painful but oft-overlooked part of history—one that...

Mapping Chicago’s 1919 race riots

On the afternoon of July 27, 1919, Eugene Williams drifted across an imaginary color line in the water at 29th Street Beach. Soon, white residents began throwing stones, preventing the black teenager from coming ashore. His drowning sparked the largest race riots Chicago has ever seen—a week that saw 38 deaths and hundreds of injuries. A century later, a University of Chicago scholar and a team of students have helped shed light on that painful but oft-overlooked part of history—one that...

UChicago scholars examine decades of trans history in Tribeca film debut

Assoc. Prof. Kristen Schilt and filmmaker Chase Joynt have spent years chasing down the story of Agnes, a transgender woman whose 1958 case study has reverberated through decades of sociology. This month, what the two University of Chicago scholars discovered will be unveiled in a new documentary short. Premiering April 28 at the Tribeca Film Festival, Framing Agnes explores not only the experience of the titular woman, but those of several other trans and gender non-conforming people from the...

Why a 1925 book is still relevant to urban sociology

The city is not just its skyscrapers and sidewalks, its roads, or houses or people. The city is “a state of mind”—a result of the interactions between institutions and those who inhabit them. That was part of the argument Robert E. Park laid out nearly a century ago, when he co-authored The City with fellow University of Chicago sociologist Ernest W. Burgess. Published in 1925, the book became a seminal text for the Chicago school of sociology, recasting the city itself as a lab for holistic,...

Politically polarized teams produce better work, analysis of Wikipedia finds

Many studies have found that political polarization in the United States is rapidly increasing, particularly online, where echo chambers and social media have inflamed partisanship. But new research from the University of Chicago’s Knowledge Lab of more than 200,000 Wikipedia pages finds that collaborations bridging the political spectrum produce higher-quality work than articles edited by moderate or one-sided teams. Wikipedia pages covering politics, social issues and science written by...

Politically polarized teams produce better work, analysis of Wikipedia finds

Many studies have found that political polarization in the United States is rapidly increasing, particularly online, where echo chambers and social media have inflamed partisanship. But new research from the University of Chicago’s Knowledge Lab of more than 200,000 Wikipedia pages finds that collaborations bridging the political spectrum produce higher-quality work than articles edited by moderate or one-sided teams. Wikipedia pages covering politics, social issues and science written by...

Bigger teams aren’t always better in science and tech

In today’s science and business worlds, it’s increasingly common to hear that solving big problems requires a big team. But a new analysis of more than 65 million papers, patents and software projects found that smaller teams produce much more disruptive and innovative research. In a new paper published by Nature , University of Chicago researchers examined 60 years of publications and found that smaller teams were far more likely to introduce new ideas to science and technology, while larger...