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Residential Inequality in American Neighborhoods and Communities

Penn State Stratification Conference


When: Friday and Saturday, September 12-13, 2014
Where: Nittany Lion Inn, University Park, The Pennsylvania State University (ADA Compliant)


Where people live reflects their position in society. This basic principle is implicit in the American Dream, which promises access to desirable homes, neighborhoods, and communities for those willing to work hard enough. As recent events remind us, however, effort alone does not guarantee fulfillment of the dream. Recession, natural disaster, and escalating (and plummeting) housing prices are but a few of the forces that have thwarted residential aspirations over the past decade. At the same time, discriminatory practices and preferences for living near others similar to oneself sustain longstanding divides by race and class.


The 20 papers to be presented at the conference by leading researchers highlight how stratification intersects with the residential landscape of the United States. Thematic sessions examine linkages between socioeconomic and ethnoracial statuses and four spatial sorting processes: segregation, locational attainment, residential mobility, and neighborhood change. State-of-the-art substantive research is featured, with many of the papers employing innovative methods or data to speak to issues of theoretical and policy importance.

This small, focused event provides an ideal venue for the lively intellectual exchange that questions about the relationship between residential and social inequality are likely to inspire. Both the conference schedule and the format of the sessions have been designed to encourage interaction among attendees.



Schedule of Events (all at Nittany Lion Inn)

Friday, September 12, 2014

2:30-3:00 pm – Check in at conference; beverages available, Alumni Lounge

3:00 pm –Welcome,  Assembly Room

3:15-4:45 pm – Segregation Session, Assembly Room

4:45-5:30 pm – Reception, Faculty Staff Club

Saturday, September 13, 2014

8:30-9:00 pm – Check in at conference; breakfast available, Assembly Room

9:00-10:30 am—Locational Attainment Session, Assembly Room

10:30-10:45 am—Break

10:45 am-12:15 pm—Residential Mobility Session, Assembly Room

12:15-1:45 pm—Luncheon, Faculty Staff Club

1:45-3:15 pm—Neighborhood Change Session, Assembly Room

3:15 pm — Conference Ends

3:30-4:00 pm— Editorial Meeting for Presenters and Co-authors, Faculty Staff Club

Click Here for Papers and Authors



Penn State’s Department of Sociology and Criminology

College of the Liberal Arts

Population Research Institute

Social Science Research Institute

and The American Academy of Political and Social Science



Conference co-organizers are Barrett Lee, Glenn Firebaugh, John Iceland, and Stephen Matthews, all Sociology faculty members at Penn State and associates of the Population Research Institute.



Registration for the conference Is closed.



Attendee Parking

Parking is available in the Nittany Parking Deck near the Nittany Lion Inn. Validation for free parking is available at the front desk. Please note that Penn State students are not allowed to park in the Nittany Parking Deck.


Attendees will pay for their own hotel accommodations. We have reserved a block of rooms at the Nittany Lion Inn where the conference will be held. Please refer to room block SOCI14A. Single occupancy rooms are $119 plus tax. This price is not guaranteed after August 13, 2014. Contact the Inn at 800-233-7505 or

For other lodging options, visit and click on the "Lodging" tab.

Contact: Please contact Stacey Martilotta at if you have questions.


Department Contact

Department of Sociology and Criminology
206 Oswald Tower
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2527
Fax: 814-863-7216

Looking for Faculty Publications?  Click here.

Hispanic Youth Underrepresented in Most Recent U.S. Census Hispanic Youth Underrepresented in Most Recent U.S. Census
While comparing the United States Census Bureau’s 2010 Decennial Census and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2010 Population Estimates, researchers discovered a significant discrepancy in the count of Hispanic youth under the age of five. Yeris Mayol-Garcia, a doctoral candidate in the Sociology and Demography Program at Penn State, along with her co-authors, independent researcher William O’Hare, Elizabeth Wildsmith and Alicia Torres, both of Child Trends, produced a report, titled “The Invisible Ones: How Latino Children Are Left out of Our Nation's’ Census Count,” that outlines their findings. Jun 24, 2016
First experiences with marijuana affect ongoing use in adolescence First experiences with marijuana affect ongoing use in adolescence
According to Derek Kreager, professor of sociology and criminology, previous research on the cessation of drug use and other criminal activity focused on adulthood. “Good marriages, stable jobs and military service were found to be the motivators for quitting these behaviors. Obviously in adolescence, this isn’t the case, so we wanted to find out what were the motivators that affected marijuana use.” Jun 09, 2016
Dr. Jenny Van Hook appointed Liberal Arts Research Professor of Sociology and Demography Dr. Jenny Van Hook appointed Liberal Arts Research Professor of Sociology and Demography
Jun 03, 2016
Stepfamily ties into adulthood Stepfamily ties into adulthood
Penn State researchers are exploring stepfamily relationships and the lasting impacts they can have as stepchildren grow into young adulthood. Jun 02, 2016
Department of Sociology and Criminology Faculty Members, Derek Kreager and Jeremy Staff, Receive Academic Promotions Department of Sociology and Criminology Faculty Members, Derek Kreager and Jeremy Staff, Receive Academic Promotions
May 24, 2016
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Topic: Sleep across the Life Course: Family Influences and Impact Oct 24, 2016 - Oct 25, 2016 — Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom, University Park Campus, PA
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