Space affects network formation Small's co-authored review: The composition and configuration of physical spaces, including offices, places of recreation, and neighborhoods, play major role in the formation of social ties.
Poor neighborhoods are diverging Small's co-authored study: what people think poor neighborhoods look like stems from a small number of increasingly unique cities---in which major sociology departments training ethnographers happen to be located.
Social isolation rates differ by race Small's co-authored paper uses data on geotagged Tweets to uncover that residents of primarily black and Hispanic neighborhoods—whether poor or not—are far less exposed to middle-class neighborhoods than residents of primarily white neighborhoods. In PNAS. See coverage in CityLabs.
Field experiment increases social capital Small's co-authored study among parents with children in Head Start centers finds that a low- or no-cost organizational intervention can increase parents' social capital---and buffer against low attendance in the winter months. Experiment confirms hypotheses in Unanticipated Gains.
Someone To Talk To has been released by Oxford U Press. A study of how people use their networks to cope with loss, victimization, failure, and other debilitating stressors, the book is an inquiry into human nature, a critique of network analysis, and a discourse on the role of qualitative research in the big-data era.
Congressional testimony on social capital Small testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress on social capital and economic opportunity. Serious investment in early education programs can help build social capital and improve the lives of both children and parents.
Making friends in violent neighborhoods Small's paper with Anjanette Chan Tack finds that neighborhood violence makes elementary school children in Chicago unusually --- and distressingly --- strategic about friendships. See summary in NY Magazine's Science of Us.
Floormates down the hall, strangers on the train Small's "Because They Were There," co-authored with Christopher Sukhu and published in Social Networks, examines how people decide whom to turn to for support. It documents that people often don't deliberate on the matter, making spontaneous decisions that do not conform to expectations of rationality.
The problem with urban ethnography Small's City and Community paper, "De-Exoticizing Ghetto Poverty," discusses stereotyping and sensationalism in current research on low-income minority populations. “Violence sells copy, and no ethnographer can feign ignorance of that fact.”
People replace confidants quickly in new contexts Small's Social Networks paper examines who graduate students trust with important matters over their first year. "The core discussion network changes remarkably quickly... and it appears to do so because the obligations people face and the routine activities they engage in are transformed by new institutional environments." Confidants are fickle.
SOMEONE TO TALK TO
An inquiry into human nature, a critique of network analysis, and a discourse on the role of qualitative research in the big-data era
*** James Coleman Award for Best Book *** Oustanding Recent Publication Award, Social Psych, ASA *** Best Publication Award, Soc of Mental Health ASA *** PROSE Book Award, Honorable Mention, Cultural Anthropology and Sociology