Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

The Company You Keep

Using Network Science to Understand Neighborhood and Police Violence

Past Event
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017
12:30 PM — 1:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

It’s a cliché to say “we live in a connected world.” But we do. Over the last twenty years, the field of network science has consistently demonstrated that the ways in which people are connected affect what we feel, think, and do. The structure of social networks have a profound impact on the friends we make, the people we marry, the votes we cast, the diseases we catch, and the ways we think.

In this presentation Prof. Andrew V. Papachristos of Yale University explores how network science might help us better understand two social problems that are often positioned at odds with each other: neighborhood and police violence. Social scientists and practitioners alike have long recognized that crime and delinquency are a group phenomenon, that factors such as peer influence, social learning, and the availability of opportunities and resources influence the who, what, when, where, and how of crime. In much the same way, most officers acknowledge that much of their learning about what it means and how to be a cop is learned “on the job” through informal networks. This talk explores how mapping and analyzing social networks can help predict the victims of gun violence in U.S. cities as well as understand which police officers might engage in misconduct.

Andrew V. Papachristos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Public Health, and Law (adjunct) at Yale University, the Director of The Policy Lab at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), the Director of the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a faculty affiliate at The Justice Collaboratory and The Yale Institute for Network Science. His research applies the growing field of network science to the study of neighborhoods, street gangs, gun violence, and police misconduct. He is also completing a book on the history and evolution of black street gangs and politics in Chicago. His writing has appeared in The American Journal of Sociology, The American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Public Health, JAMA Internal Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, Foreign Policy, The Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune.