Exhibition: Mapping the Young Metropolis: The Chicago School of Sociology, 1915–1940
Dates: June 22 – September 11, 2015
In 1915, University of Chicago sociology professor Robert E. Park published The City: Suggestions for the Investigation of Human Behavior in the City Environment, a book that inspired a quarter-century of social research at the University of Chicago and transformed the discipline of sociology. This explosion of scholarship came to be known as the Chicago School of Sociology. Faculty and graduate students in the Department of Sociology adopted Chicago as their urban laboratory and began to study the city intensively, examining distinctive neighborhoods, institutions and social patterns. Archives in the Special Collections Research Center preserve key records of their research methodology: tools, such as questionnaires and life histories, along with analyses, such as statistical tables and city maps. Archival documents reveal the new sociological research process, from proposal through data collection to final report. The exhibition also displays a series of influential books written by Chicago sociologists, many based upon PhD dissertations, among them Louis Wirth’s The Ghetto (1928) and Harvey Zorbaugh’s The Gold Coast and the Slum (1929).
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
Hours: Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. when classes are in session. Consult hours for the Special Collections Research Center at hours.lib.uchicago.edu.
The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Curator: Harvey Choldin, AB’60, AM’63, PhD’65, earned his Ph.D. in the University of Chicago Sociology Department and is a University of Illinois professor emeritus of sociology.
Associated web exhibit (coming in July): lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/mappingtheyoungmetropolis2
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