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Speaker Series: Forrest Stuart

Rutgers School of Criminal Justice and the School of Social Work are co-sponsoring a talk by sociologist Forrest Stuart, assistant professor of sociology at University of Chicago.  Dr. Stuart will be discussing his work on how recent developments - specifically mass incarceration, zero-tolerance policing, digital social media, and new forms of cultural production - have reshaped the social fabric of disadvantaged neighborhoods. This work includes an ethnography of policing and everyday life in Los Angeles' Skid Row district, as well as his fieldwork alongside gangs on Chicago's south side.

Forrest Stuart’s research engages a fundamental and pressing concern for both sociologists and criminologists: how authorities attempt to more effectively control marginal social groups and how those populations counteract and even resist such efforts. This theoretical agenda has resulted in three major research projects. The first investigates the role of policing, criminal justice, and social welfare in the lives of marginalized and stigmatized urban communities. The second examines the unexpected resilience of the labor movement in Los Angeles. The third centers more explicitly on theory and methodology, exploring new ways of studying and thinking about urban poverty and crime.

Stuart’s first book, Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row, is an in-depth ethnography of Los Angeles’ Skid Row district, an area long regarded as the “homeless capital of America.” Examining the interactions between police officers and the neighborhood’s inhabitants, he documents the emergence of a new model of urban social control that combines both rehabilitative and punitive interventions, what he terms “therapeutic policing.” His current book project draws on two years of fieldwork alongside gangs on Chicago's South side to investigate how digital social media transform the social organizations of gangs and gang violence. 

Stuart received PhD and MA degrees in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2012), an MS in justice, law, and society from American University (2006), and a BA in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz (2004).

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