My research investigates how recent developments—specifically mass incarceration, zero-tolerance policing, digital social media, and new forms of music—have reshaped the social fabric of disadvantaged neighborhoods in the twenty-first century. This agenda has led to number of original research projects, community organizing efforts, and intervention programs. My research has been published in Urban Studies, Law and Social Inquiry, Souls, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and other venues. Throughout my work I make efforts to embrace the ideals of public sociology, which enlists community members as valuable co-producers of knowledge. I also enjoy collaborating with graduate students throughout the data collection and writing processes. I am currently accepting graduate students who share my research interests and approaches.
My first book, Caught at the Bottom: Policing, Poverty, and Everyday Life in Skid Row, is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. The book is an in-depth ethnography of Los Angeles' Skid Row district, an area long regarded as the "homeless capital of America." Beginning in the early 2000s, Skid Row became distinguished as the site of one of the most aggressive "zero tolerance" campaigns to date, characterized by arguably the largest concentration of standing police forces found anywhere in the United States. Examining the interactions between police officers and the neighborhood's impoverished and homeless inhabitants, the book considers how this new configuration of social control and social welfare is re-constituting poverty, crime, and space, as well as the relationship existing between the state and the urban poor.
I am currently conducting research for my second book, which investigates the intersections of poverty, culture, digital social media, and hip-hop on Chicago's south side.
As a faculty fellow of the University of Chicago's Urban Health Initiative (UHI), I recently created the South Side Youth Violence Prevention Project (SSYVPP). Through a partnership with the Chicago YMCA's Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) office, we launched a violence prevention intervention for youth ages 12 to 17. The program, named Story Squad, uses an audio production and story-telling curriculum to help youth process trauma, develop prosocial skills, and build a safer community. A short video on Story Squad can be found here: http://bit.ly/1RmiCSz. Audio stories can be heard here: http://bit.ly/1RmiCSz.
Deener, Andrew, Steve Erie, Vlad Kogan, and Forrest Stuart. Forthcoming 2012. "Planning LA: The New Politics of Neighborhood Development and Downtown Revitalization." In New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future, edited by David Halle and Andrew A. Beveridge. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stuart, Forrest. 2011. "Constructing Police Abuse after Rodney King: How Skid Row Residents and the LAPD Contest Video Evidence." Law and Social Inquiry 36 (2): 327-353. (Lead Article)
Stuart, Forrest. 2011. "Race, Space, and the Regulation of Surplus Labor: Policing African-Americans in Los Angeles' Skid Row." Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 13 (2): 197-212.
Stuart, Forrest. 2010. "From the Shop to the Streets: UNITE HERE Organizing in Los Angeles Hotels." In Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy, edited by Ruth Milkman, Victor Narro, and Joshua Bloom. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Saguy, Abigail C., and Forrest Stuart. 2008. "Culture and Law: Beyond a Paradigm of Cause and Effect." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 619: 149-164.
Blasi, Gary and Forrest Stuart. 2008. "Has the Safer Cities Initiative in Skid Row Reduced Serious Crime?" Los Angeles: UCLA School of Law.