Spatial Stratification, Mobility, and Neighborhood Effects on Risk and Crime


Corina Graif is an an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and a Research Associate at the Population Research Institute at at The Pennsylvania State University. She received a PhD in Sociology from Harvard University in 2011 and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor during 2011-2013.  She studies spatial stratification, mobility, and neighborhood effects on risk and crime.  Her published work focuses among others on the consequences of urban poverty and population diversity on crime and on the dynamics of personal and community social capital. It highlights the role that the severity of crime plays in influencing prosecutorial misconduct, and the relationship between neighborhood violence, immigration, and diversity in multi-ethnic and multi-racial urban US contexts.

In her current research projects, Corina integrates sociological and criminological insights in investigating the effect of spatial inequality on youth delinquency and risky behavior. She examines how the urban geography of inequality shapes the pathways of opportunity for the inner-city poor of different racial/ethnic groups, and how forms of interaction between the immediate and extended neighborhoods affect crime rates, psychological distress, and the risky and delinquent behavior of urban youth. She studies the criminogenic implications of the increasing spatial mismatch between housing and jobs as a result of the Great Recession and economic restructuring.

Corina is interested in conceptual and methodological aspects related to measuring neighborhood effects, spatial contexts, network dynamics, and in survey and experimental design and analysis. Working with studies such as the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program (MTO), the National Neighborhood Crime Study (NNCS), the Census, and the Project for Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), she predominantly conducts quantitative analyses and uses GIS techniques. Her projects address issues that have strong significance for urban and local policy related to mobility, health, and crime.

Corina's work is published in Criminology,City and CommunitySocial Psychology Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, Homicide Studies, Sociology Compass, Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being, and by the Russell Sage Foundation, among others. Her projects have been awarded the Howard T. Fischer Prize for Excellence in GIS and recognized by the ASA Sections on Community and Urban Sociology and on Children and Youth.  She received research grants from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Institute at Penn State, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Eliot Fellowship Award from GSAS, and fellowships from the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard and the Alfred Taubman Center for State and Local Government, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.



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