Patrick Sharkey

Volume 89.2
Neighborhood Inequality and Violence in Chicago, 1965–2020
Patrick Sharkey
William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
Alisabeth Marsteller
Researcher at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research.

The authors wish to thank the editors at the University of Chicago Law Review, participants at the Symposium “This Violent City? Rhetoric, Realities, and the Perils and Promise of Reform,”moderator Aziz Huq and panelist Allegra McLeod for their insights on violence in Chicago, and Robert Sampson and Michael Maesano for their comments and feedback on the Essay.

This Essay analyzes trends in violence from a spatial perspective, focusing on how changes in the murder rate are experienced by communities and groups of residents within the city of Chicago. The Essay argues that a spatial perspective is essential to understanding the causes and consequences of violence in the United States and begins by describing the social policies and theoretical mechanisms that explain the connection between concentrated disadvantage and violent crime.