Past Event

Neighborhood Hollywood, 1870-2010: 10 Implications for Reconstructing Urban Social Thought

November 15, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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509, Knox Hall

The Sociology Seminar Series presents: "Neighborhood Hollywood, 1810-2010: 10 Implications of Reconstructing Urban Social Thought" by Dr. Jack Katz, University of California-Los Angeles

A long-term historical ethnography of neighborhoods in the Hollywood section of L.A. shows the need to rethink common assumptions in academic, popular and political thinking about city life.  We need to appreciate the causal impact of non-doings, especially the impact on urban life of the absence of large scale immigration from 1920 to 1965; understand the fifty year process during which a retreat of centralized power in cities led first to anarchy and then to unprecedented strategies of neighborhood formation by locals; return to social ecology to describe the blindered interaction through which residents in each area respond to opportunities and barriers created by strangers  in other areas with whom they never directly interact; reduce the emphasis on class and race by recognizing the importance of cohorts formed by historical tragedies; and abandon the nationalistic and teleological conventions of thought that block our ability to show the significance of transnational biographies in which the meaning of social conditions at one life stage radically changes later in life.

Jack Katz is Research Professor (retired from teaching) at the Dept of Sociology at UCLA.  Neighborhood Hollywood, a 40-year research project, is now in its final stretch. For a glimpse, see “Anarchy’s Neighborhoods,” published in Qualitative Sociology, 2021. Previous writings include Seductions of Crime, How Emotions Work, and a series of journal articles on ethnographic methodology. Among them: “Ethnography’s Warrants.” Sociological Methods and Research, 25, 4: 391-423, 1997; “From How to Why: On Luminous Description and Causal Inference in Ethnography,” Part 1. Ethnography 2, 4: 443-473, 2001; “From How to Why: On Luminous Description and Causal Inference in Ethnography,” Part 2. Ethnography 3, 1: 63-90, 2002; “On the Rhetoric and Politics of Ethnographic Methodology,” Annals of the American Academy of  Political and Social Science. 595, September: 280-308, 2004; “Time for New Urban Ethnographies,” Ethnography 10, 3: 1-20. 2010; “Situational Evidence: Strategies for Causal Reasoning from Observational Field Notes, Sociological Methods and Research, 44, 1:108-144. 2015; “On Becoming an Ethnographer,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 48, 1: 16-50, 2019.