SOC 261, Spring 2005
Spatial Thinking in Social Science
Monday 12-2 Maxcy 108
Wednesday 2-5 CIS 265
Dr. Logan’s office hours are Monday 3-5 or by appointment.
This course will review ways in which social scientists have
incorporated concepts about space, place, and distance into their
theories and research. Examples will be drawn from many
substantive areas, including the spatial organization of communities
(immigrant neighborhoods and ethnic economies), spatial inequalities
(health disparities, criminal victimization and school segregation),
and mobility. Although this is not primarily a methodology
course, separate laboratory meetings will offer hands-on application of
methods of spatial analysis encountered in the course readings,
including an introduction to GIS and related mapping tools.
Monday class meetings will be organized mainly around the course
readings. These classes will operate as a seminar in which every
reading is introduced orally by one student (who will also prepare 1-2
page written summaries for distribution). There will be two
essays assigned during the semester. These will be due on
February 28 and May 16.
Wednesday class meetings will be labs, presented mostly by Charles
Zhang and Naresh Kumar. These will introduce techniques of
reading and interpreting maps (with a browser), making maps (with
ArcView), and doing spatial analyses (with Geoda). You will earn
a grade for the labs based on attendance and participation, and this
grade will count the same as one of the essays.
There is one textbook (Michael Goodchild and Donald Janelle, 2004.
Spatially Integrated Social Science. Oxford University
Press). Other readings are articles available on-line through the
Brown University library. The schedule of readings is as follows:
1/31 Spatial aspects of social networks
Barry Wellman. 2001. “Physical Place and Cyberplace: The
Rise of Personalized Networking” International Journal of Urban
and Regional Research 25: 227-252.
Munroe Eagles, Paul Belanger, and Hugh Calkins. “The Spatial
Structure of Urban Political Discussion Networks” SISS, Chapter
2/7 Spaces and places
Janet Kodras and Irene Padavic. 1993. “Economic
Restructuring and Women's Sectoral Employment in the 1970s: A Spatial
Investigation across 380 U.S. Labor Market Areas” Social Science
Quarterly 74: 1-27.
Wendy Schiller. 1999. "Trade Politics in the American Congress: A Study
of the Interaction of Political Geography and Interest Group Behavior."
Political Geography 18: 769-789.
2/14 Access and distance
Scott Allard and Sheldon Danziger. 2003. “Proximity and
Opportunity: How Residence and Race Affect the Employment of Welfare
Recipients” Housing Policy Debate 13: 675-700.
Qing Shen. “Updating Spatial Perspectives and Analytical
Frameworks in Urban Research” SISS, Chapter 13.
2/21 No class, Presidents Week
2/28 Issues of environmental equity
Manuel Pastor, J. Sadd, and Rachel Morello-Frosch. 2002. “Who’s
Minding the Kids? Toxic Air, Public Schools, and Environmental
Justice in Los Angeles.” Social Science Quarterly 83: 263-280.
John C. Pine, Brian D. Marx, Aruna Lakshmanan. 2002. “An
Examination of Accidental-Release Scenarios from Chemical-Processing
Sites: The Relation of Race to Distance” Social Science Quarterly
3/7 Analyzing spatial clusters
John R. Logan and Wenquan Zhang. “Identifying Ethnic
Neighborhoods with Census Data: Group Concentration and Spatial
Clustering” SISS, Chapter 6.
Steven Messner and Luc Anselin. “Spatial Analyses of Homicide
with Areal Data” SISS, Chapter 7.
3/14 Mobility to work
Victoria Bloomfield and Richard Harris. 1997. “The Journey to
Work” Historical Methods 30:97-110.
Samuel Cohn and Mark Fossett. 1996.. “What Spatial
Mismatch? The Proximity of Blacks
to Employment in Boston and Houston”
Social Forces, 75, 2, Dec, 557-572.
3/21 Locating economic activities
Mark Ellis, Richard Wright and Virginia Parks. 2004. “Work
Together, Live Apart? Geographies of Racial and Ethnic Segregation at
Home and at Work” Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 94: 620-637.
Stuart Sweeney and Edward Feser. “Business Location and Spatial
Externalities: Tying Concepts to Measures” SISS, Chapter 12.
3/28 No class, spring recess
4/4 Exposure to crime
Robert J. Bursik, Jr. and Jim Webb. 1982. “Community
Change and Patterns of Delinquency” American Journal of Sociology 88:
Richard D. Alba, John R. Logan and Paul Bellair. 1994.
"Living with Crime: The Implications of Racial and Ethnic Differences
in Suburban Location" Social Forces 73 (December): 395-434.
4/11 Diffusion of urban disorder
Robert Sampson and Jeffrey Morenoff. “Spatial (Dis)Advantage and
Homicide in Chicago Neighborhoods” SISS, Chapter 8.
4/18 Diffusion over space and time
George Tita and Jacqueline Cohen. “Measuring Spatial Diffusion of
Shots Fired Activity across City Neighborhoods” SISS, Chapter 9.
4/25 Multilevel models: birthweight
Jeffrey Morenoff. 2003. “Neighborhood Mechanisms and the Spatial
Dynamics of Birthweight” American Journal of Sociology 108:
5/2 Multilevel models: collective efficacy
Robert Sampson, Jeffrey Morenoff, and Felton Earls. 1999. “Beyond
Social Capital: Spatial Dynamics of Collective Efficacy for Children”
American Sociological Review 64: 633-660.
5/9 Spatial information overload?
Bruce Boucek and Emilio Moran. “Inferring the Behavior of
Households from Remotely Sensed Changes in Land Cover” SISS,
Mei-Po Kwan and Jiyeong Lee. “Geovisualization of Human Activity
Patterns Using 3D GIS” SISS, Chapter 3.
Charles Zhang (Charles_Zhang@Brown.edu)
Naresh Kumar (Naresh_Kumar@brown.edu)
Wednesday 2-5 CIS 265
SOC 261 -- Lab Meetings
Preparation: In order to have access to shape files you will need
for some of the lab exercises, during the first week of class please
register at http://www.proximityone.com. You will receive a user
id and password via email which will allow you to download shape files
from this website. Be sure to save this email and know your user id and
password because you will be downloading these files during lab hours.
1/26 Presentation – Some Great Maps and How to Use Them
2/2 Getting to Know Maps with Map New York
2/9 Making Your Own Maps of Social Indicators Using the U.S.
Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder (http://factfinder.census.gov)
2/16 Making a Map with ArcView GIS -- Part I
• Getting around in ArcView
• Downloading a boundary shape file
• Creating new data columns
• Joining in a data table
2/23 Making a Map with ArcView GIS – Part II
• Looking at the distribution of the data to
determine cut-off points for the legend
• Creating a thematic map – Legends, colors, views,
3/2 Geocoding in ArcView – Mapping Street Addresses for Point Pattern
3/9 Creating Distance Buffers in ArcView for Spatial Analysis
3/16 Introduction to Geoda (http://sal.agecon.uiuc.edu/geoda_main.php)
• Getting around Geoda
• Linking Geoda and ArcView
3/23 Constructing Spatial Weights from ArcView Shape Files
• Creating rook and queen contiguity weights based on
ArcView shape files
• Characteristics of spatial weights
• Formats for spatial weights in Geoda
3/30 No class spring recess
4/6 Local Moran’s I and Analysis of Significance Maps
• Calculating Moran’s I in Geoda
• Interpreting the data output
• Joining the data to ArcView and creating a
• Using the data output to make maps independent of
4/13 Spatial Weights and Spatial Lags
• Row-Standardization of Spatial Weights
• Higher Order Contiguity Weights
• Constructing Spatial Lags
• Spatial Lag Bar Charts in ArcView
4/20 Spatial Regression Basics
• Regression problem files
• Standard OLS output
• Diagnostics for spatial effects
4/27 Estimation of the Spatial Lag Model
• Spatial error
• Spatial lag and heteroskedasticity