American Philosophical Society
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301. Anthropology, Demography, Psychology, and Sociology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Robert J. Sampson
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  2011
 Class:  3. Social Sciences
 Subdivision:  301. Anthropology, Demography, Psychology, and Sociology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1955
Robert Sampson’s work has focused on the social organization of cities, contributing path-breaking research on the effects of neighborhoods on crime and social inequality. Early on he began tracking the careers of men born during the Depression and incarcerated during adolescence, following them to age 70. He demonstrated marked differences in the extent of later criminal behavior, and that its forms were linked to the social bonds they formed as well as changes in their individual attitudes. Later, his studies of race and crime, on the social meaning and implications of “visible” disorder in cities, the tangled effects of social inequality and its spatial concentrations, and the character of collective civic engagement in cities from the 1960s through the current period have sharpened our understanding of these important phenomena. He is known for having introduced careful distinctions between individual and contextual effects and for using new spatial techniques in systematic social observation to address old questions such as why the distribution of poverty across Chicago neighborhoods has remained stable despite marked shifts in population within them. Sampson has consistently shown a fine-tuned sense for important research problems, has devised original procedures for data collection and analysis and in so doing, has strongly influenced the agenda for studies of urban phenomena, world-wide. He earned his Ph.D. from State University of New York in 1983. He is the author of several works, including: (with T. Castellano, J. Laub) Juvenile Criminal Behavior and Its Relation to Neighborhood Characteristics, 1981; (with J. Laub) Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points Through Life, 1993; (with G. Squires, M. Zhou) How Neighborhoods Matter: The Value of Investing at the Local Level, 2001; (with J. Laub) Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives: Delinquent Boys to Age 70, 2003. He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2005, the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, and the American Philosophical Society in 2011. He was recently awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology (2011).
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