Mario Luis Small Sociologist
Mario L. Small has made numerous and award-winning contributions to research on urban neighborhoods, personal networks, research methods, and other topics. He has shown that poor neighborhoods in commonly-studied cities such as Chicago are not representative of ghettos everywhere, that how people understand and make sense of their neighborhood shapes how it affects them, and that local organizations in poor neighborhoods often broker connections to both people and organizations.
Small has also demonstrated that people’s social capital—including how many people they know and how much they trust others—depends on the organizations in which they are embedded. His work on methods has shown that many practices used to make qualitative research more scientific are ineffective. Small is currently working to understand why ghettos differ from city to city and how people decide whom to turn to when seeking support. He is writing a book, informed by recent work in psychology, economics, and other fields, on why people are consistently willing to confide their deepest worries to people they are not close to.
Ascend Fellowship, Aspen Institute, 2012.
Elected to Sociological Research Association, 2010.
C. Wright Mills Best Book Award, 2005 and 2010.
Robert Park Best Book Award, 2005.
Jane Addams Best Article Award, 2004.
M.L. Small et al, “How Stable is the Core Discussion Network?” Soc. Networks, vol. 40, pp. 90-102, 2015.
M.L. Small, "No Two Ghettos Are Alike," Chronicle Review March 2014.
M.L. Small, “Weak Ties and the Core Discussion Network: Why People Discuss Important Matters with Unimportant Alters,” Soc. Networks, vol. 35, pp. 470-83, 2013.
S. Allard and M.L. Small, “Reconsidering the Urban Disadvantaged: The Role of Systems, Institutions, and Organizations.” Ann. Am. Acad. Polit. S.S., vol. 647, no. 1, pp. 6-20, 2013.
M.L. Small, “How to Conduct a Mixed Method Study: Recent Trends in a Rapidly Growing Literature.” Ann. Rev. Sociol., vol. 37, pp. 55-84, 2011.
M.L. Small, Villa Victoria: The Transformation of Social Capital in a Boston Barrio. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
M.L. Small, Unanticipated Gains: Origins of Network Inequality in Everyday Life. Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, 2009.
Senior Fellow Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being
Harvard UniversityDepartment of Sociology
PhD (Sociology) Harvard University
MA (Sociology) Harvard University
Ideas Related to Mario Luis Small
On June 4th, 2015, CIFAR convened a roundtable with Dr. Charles Nelson and Toronto-area community and government leaders to discuss...
IMPROVING NEIGHBOURHOOD SETTINGS TO PROMOTE CHILD AND FAMILY WELL-BEING On March 9, 2017, CIFAR, in partnership with the Toronto Child...
Mario Luis Small, Candice Odgers, and Daniele Zanotti answer questions after the Building Neighbourhoods That Thrive event.
CIFAR Senior Fellow Mario Luis Small presents at Building Neighbourhoods That Thrive.