David Harding to receive ASA's Outstanding Book Award

June 8, 2012

The American Sociological Association's (ASA) Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility has named David Harding the recipient of its 2012 Outstanding Book Award. Harding will be presented the award at the 2012 ASA annual meeting, which will be held in Denver, CO in August.

Harding's book, "Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture Among Inner-City Boys," was published in 2010 by University of Chicago Press. The following is the book description from the publisher:


"For the middle class and the affluent, local ties seem to matter less and less these days, but in the inner city, your life can be irrevocably shaped by what block you live on. Living the Drama takes a close look at three neighborhoods in Boston to analyze the many complex ways that the context of community shapes the daily lives and long-term prospects of inner-city boys.

David J. Harding studied sixty adolescent boys growing up in two very poor areas and one working-class area. In the first two, violence and neighborhood identification are inextricably linked as rivalries divide the city into spaces safe, neutral, or dangerous.

Consequently, Harding discovers, social relationships are determined by residential space. Older boys who can navigate the dangers of the streets serve as role models, and friendships between peers grow out of mutual protection. The impact of community goes beyond the realm of same-sex bonding, Harding reveals, affecting the boys' experiences in school and with the opposite sex. A unique glimpse into the world of urban adolescent boys, Living the Drama paints a detailed, insightful portrait of life in the inner city."

Harding is an associate professor at the Ford School and the department of sociology, as well as a research associate professor at the Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center.