Robert J. Chaskin is an Associate Professor and the Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the School of Social Service Administration. His research interests include community organizing and development, community social organization, comprehensive community initiatives, youth development, associations and nonprofits, philanthropy and social change, knowledge utilization and evaluation, and cross-national research. In addition to his role at SSA, Professor Chaskin has worked with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago since 1990 where he is currently an Affiliated Scholar. At SSA, Professor Chaskin teaches courses on social policy, community development, and program implementation and on theories and strategies of community change.
Professor Chaskin's work focuses on the conceptual foundations and principal strategies of contemporary community intervention in the context of urban poverty. He has written widely on the topics of neighborhood intervention, community capacity building, and the dynamics of participatory planning and neighborhood governance. His research focuses on social policy and community practice in two principal ways: through grounded, case-study investigations of particular interventions and through synthetic, cross-intervention analyses. To date, Professor Chaskin's work has evolved along three major lines. The first is concerned with theories of community and social policy responses to urban poverty, the second focuses strategies of community change with a particular focus on participatory planning and democratic governance at the neighborhood level, and the third is concerned with the application of knowledge to inform community practice and policy.
Among other projects, he is currently engaged in a multi-year, multi-site study of public housing reform in Chicago, with a particular focus on the emerging mixed-income developments being built in several Chicago neighborhoods on the footprint of former public housing developments, as well as a study of the New Communities Program, a community development effort underway in 16 Chicago neighborhoods.
Professor Chaskin received his A.M. in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
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