Robert Vargas is a political and urban sociologist. He uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how politics, bureaucracies, and policies, shape the conditions of cities. In 2016, he won the New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology's Division on People of Color and Crime.
His first book "Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio," describes how violence persists on a handful of blocks within areas gerrymandered by the Chicago city council. The book introduces a political framework for understanding the geographic concentration of violence. "Wounded City" won the 2016 Outstanding Book Prize from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
His second book (in progress) examines how the Affordable Care Act has effected the lives of low-income uninsured Chicagoans.
Vargas is also involved in a number of side projects on police notification, community organization involvement among Latino Youth, and policing.
Research Interests: Spatial Science; Political Sociology; Urban Sociology, Crime, Law, and Deviance; Mixed Methods