About Mary Pattillo

African American Studies, Sociology

Mary Pattillo is a sociologist and ethnographer whose areas of interest include race and ethnicity, urban sociology, inequality, housing, education, criminal legal studies, Black communities, and qualitative methods. She has extensively studied the experiences of Black families in Chicago and Illinois, covering topics such as school and housing choice, the Black middle class, gentrification, youth socialization, and monetary sanctions.

Professional positions
  • 1998–present: Assistant (1998–2001), associate (2001–2006), full (2006–2010), and Harold Washington (2010–present) Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
Notable publications
  • Pattillo, Mary. 2013 [1999]. Black Picket Fences: Privilege & Peril among the Black Middle Class, 2nd edition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Pattillo, Mary. 2007. Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Pattillo, Mary, David Weiman, and Bruce Western, eds. 2004. Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Pattillo-McCoy, Mary. 1998. “Church culture as a strategy of action in the Black community.” American Sociological Review 63(6): 767–784.
  • PhD, sociology, University of Chicago
  • MA, sociology, University of Chicago
  • BA, urban studies and sociology, Columbia University
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