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Faculty Fellow

Robert Vargas

Associate Professor of Sociology; Deputy Dean of the Social Sciences University of Chicago


Professor Vargas is a social scientist interested in research on cities, law, and race. His writing and teaching focus on identifying the political-economic forces shaping neighborhood conditions and city responses to social problems. His multi award-winning book "Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio" brought a political analysis to the study of urban violence by showing how ward redistricting shaped block-level violence in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. His second book "Uninsured in Chicago: How the Social Safety Net Leaves Latinos Behind" (NYU Press) is a longitudinal and intersectional ethnography of uninsured Chicagoans' experiences with the Affordable Care Act. His research has been featured in numerous media outlets such as NBC News, Telemundo, Univision, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and National Public Radio.

Professor Vargas leads the UChicago Justice Project, a research group devoted to institutional change in cities. The Justice Project is pursuing three multi-city research projects: first, on the effects of redistricting on spatial inequality, second, on block-level historical trajectories of homicide in Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco from 1870 to the present, and third, the political economy of policing.

Please visit his profile page to learn more about his research and publications.


Black Wall Street Journey

2020 – 2021