Chicago VI images
“Childhood is Without Prejudice” by William Walker, 1977 (Photograph taken by Joe Marinaro, 2012). A Loop-bound “El” train © Jeremy Atherton, 2012.


Chicago occupies a unique place in the field of urban studies. Site and subject of the Chicago School of urban sociology; infamous for its entrenched patterns of racial segregation and social stratification; derided for its heavy-handed, machine-style politics; and recognized for its community organizing, labor activism, and struggles over decent housing—Chicago has long captured the interest and imagination of urbanists, and the research conducted here has been a key reference point for generations of scholars the world over. This virtual special issue highlights some of the research on Chicago published in the pages of IJURR since the early 1990s, providing a critical examination of key facets of this enigmatic American city.

Nik Theodore,
IJURR Editorial Board
April 2015

Emblematic Chicago: Race and place in comparative perspective

Urban Outcasts: Stigma and Division in the Black American Ghetto and the French Urban Periphery
Loïc Wacquant (1993)

Revisiting Loïc Wacquant’s Urban Outcasts
Mary Pattillo (2009)

Your Life Chances Affect Where You Live: A Critique of the ‘Cottage Industry’ of Neighbourhood Effects Research
Tom Slater (2013)

The ‘Black Metropolis’ in the American Urban System of the Early Twentieth Century: Harlem, Bronzeville and Beyond
Robert L. Boyd (2015)

Three Pernicious Premises in the Study of the American Ghetto
Loïc Wacquant (1997)

Prismatic Chicago: Precarity, informality and restructuring

Food fight! Immigrant Street Vendors, Gourmet Food Trucks and the Differential Valuation of Creative Producers in Chicago
Nina Martin (2014)

Contingent Chicago: Restructuring the Spaces of Temporary Labor
Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore (2001)

Revisiting Shibboleths of Race and Urban Economy: Black Employment in Manufacturing and the Public Sector Compared, Chicago 1950–2000
Virginia Parks (2011)

Performative Neoliberal-Parasitic Economies: The Chicago Case
David Wilson (2011)

Carceral Chicago: Making the Ex-offender Employability Crisis
Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore (2008)

Distribution Centers among the Rooftops: The Global Logistics Network Meets the Suburban Spatial Imaginary
Julie Cidell (2011)