Patrick Sharkey

Professor of Sociology, New York University

StuckInPlace Cover April2013Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality

Methods Appendix

University of Chicago Press

In the 1960s, many believed that the civil rights movement’s successes would foster a new era of racial equality in America. Four decades later, the degree of racial inequality has barely changed. To understand what went wrong, Patrick Sharkey argues that we have to understand what has happened to African American communities over the last several decades. In Stuck in Place, Sharkey describes how political decisions and social policies have led to severe disinvestment from black neighborhoods, persistent segregation, declining economic opportunities, and a growing link between African American communities and the criminal justice system.
As a result, neighborhood inequality that existed in the 1970s has been passed down to the current generation of African Americans. Some of the most persistent forms of racial inequality, such as gaps in income and test scores, can only be explained by considering the neighborhoods in which black and white families have lived over multiple generations. This multigenerational nature of neighborhood inequality also means that a new kind of urban policy is necessary for our nation’s cities. Sharkey argues for urban policies that have the potential to create transformative and sustained changes in urban communities and the families that live within them, and he outlines a durable urban policy agenda to move in that direction.
Winner of the Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society.

Winner of The American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Sociology and Social Work.
William Julius Wilson | author of The Truly Disadvantaged and The Declining Significance of Race

"Patrick Sharkey's Stuck in Place is one of those rare books that will become a standard reference for students and scholars of inequality. Examining longitudinal data over a period of four decades, Sharkey provides compelling arguments on how inequality clustered in a social setting can be addressed with a durable urban policy agenda. This important and incredibly perceptive book is a must-read."

Mary Pattillo | author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City
"Stuck in Place is a powerful analysis of how neighborhoods are implicated in perpetuating severe stratification between blacks and whites across generations. Patrick Sharkey’s robust findings are sobering and disturbing—even for experts in the field—and leave no room for debate about the need for massive investment in America’s poorest neighborhoods. Like The Truly Disadvantaged and American Apartheid before it, this book will be impossible to ignore and will set the agenda for decades to come."
Douglas S. Massey | coauthor of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
"Patrick Sharkey’s comprehensive and compelling analysis clearly explains how segregation, by concentrating disadvantage in black neighborhoods, continues to divide US society into divergent black and white social worlds that remain truly separate and unequal, decades after the Civil Rights Era. His work eloquently reminds us that a segregated society can never be a just society, and that segregation remains at the core the American dilemma, even in the Age of Obama."

Recent media coverage and reviews:

The Economic Policy Institute, Panel discussion on “Neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.”

Richard Rothstein, The American Prospect. “The urban poor shall inherit poverty.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Washington Post Wonkblog.  “Graph of the year.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The killing of Jonathan Ferrell in context.” The Atlantic online.

Spotlight on poverty and opportunity, audio conference. “Where you live matters: Addressing concentrated poverty neighborhoods." 

Reihan Salam, National Review online. “Some Thoughts on Segregation, Discrimination, and Family and Community Ties.”

Richard Florida, Atlantic Cities online. "The persistent geography of disadvantage."

Margery Turner, Poverty and Race Research Action Council newsletter. "Place matters even more than we thought: New insights on the persistence of racial inequality." 

Joe Kriesberg. Rooflines: The ShelterForce blog. "Are poor families stuck in place?" 

Margery Turner, MetroTrends blog. "Stuck in Place: A new book well worth reading.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic online. “A rising tide lifts all yachts."

Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education. "The neighborhood effect. 

Reihan Salam, National Review Online. "Multigenerational poverty, crime control and civil society.”