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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Mary Pattillo


Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Faculty Affiliate Institute for Policy Research; Ph.D. University of Chicago 1997. Pattillo's areas of interest include race and ethnicity (specifically the black middle class), urban sociology, and qualitative methods.

Pattillo uses the city of Chicago as her laboratory and strives to be an expert in Chicago history, politics, and social life. In her book, Black Picket Fences (University of Chicago Press 1999), Pattillo investigates the economic, spatial, and cultural forces that affect child-rearing and youth socialization in a black middle class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Black Picket Fences won the Oliver Cromwell Cox Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association. She has published articles in American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and other journals. She is also co-editor of Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage, 2004). Her most recent book, Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press) examines the simultaneous processes of low-income housing construction and gentrification in a black Chicago neighborhood. Pattillo is a founding board member and active participant in Urban Prep Charter Academy, the first all-boys public charter high school in Chicago.