Small’s research on urban poverty has examined how people navigate the conditions of low-income neighborhoods. He has shown that local organizations are important to the networks of the poor; that childcare centers, because of their organizational networks, provide much more than childcare for many low-income families; and that ghettoes differ from city to city far more than previously assumed. Read more
Social Support Networks
Small’s research on social support networks has examined how people make the connections that prove useful to them in the context of social inequality. Contrary to most recent research on networks—which examines increasingly complex structures using ever-larger datasets—Small’s work probes deeper into human motivation, to understand how individuals make decisions about seeking and using social support. Read more
Qualitative and Mixed Methods
Small’s work on qualitative and mixed methods has tried to develop alternative ways of thinking about generalizability in case studies, such as ethnographies of a single neighborhood or historical studies of one organization. His “How Many Cases Do I Need?” examines an all-too-common question in the study of neighborhoods, organizations, or small groups. Read more
News and Updates
Re-evaluating the Culture of Poverty
Small has participated in a roundtable for The Society Pages critically examining "culture of poverty" rhetoric. Small writes, "A lot of people assume that social scientists who examine the relationship between culture and poverty must have a particular political agenda. This shows how far we need to go." Read more here.
No Two Ghettos Are Alike
The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes Small's article in The Chronicle Review titled "No Two Ghettos Are Alike". Small writes that our most prominent picture of what ghettos look like has been built on a special case - an important, historic, and interesting one, to be sure, but a single case nonetheless. Read more here.
Do Parents Care Enough About School?
The New York Times publishes Small's Room for Debate column titled "Mutual Obligations and Commitments." Small writes: "To argue that if only parents became involved our children would rise from the academic doldrums is to believe that a modern, complex institution with multiple constituents who have independent interests can be transformed by a mere attitude change on the part of one group." Read more here.
The ties that bind: How childcare centers build social capital
The Huffington Post has published a column based on Small's research on the social networks among mothers of children attending childcare centers in New York. As long as people continue to find the need to attend church, to sign up for sports teams, or to enroll their kids in daycare, they will have much of what is needed to keep the Internet from making them lonely. Read the post here.
Why we discuss personal topics with people we don't care about
Social Networks journal has published a new study that brings a different perspective into the controversy over whether Americans today have fewer close confidants than a generation ago. The study questions the idea that confidants are necessarily people we are close to. Final version available here (with subscription). A pre-publication version available here.
Organizational perspectives on urban poverty
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences has published a volume, co-edited with Scott Allard, dedicated to the role of systems, institutions, and organizations in the lives of low-income residents of urban areas. Includes papers by David Harding, Jeff Morenoff, Stefanie De Luca, Nicole Marwell, Joe Galaskiewicz, Min Zhou, Mike McQuarrie, Bruce Fuller, Celeste Watkins, and others. Please email for a copy of the Introduction. The introduction is available here (with subscription) | A pre-publication version, here.