Loyola University Chicago

Center for Urban Research and Learning

Staff and Visiting Scholars

Philip Nyden, PhD

Title/s:  Professor Emeritus of Sociology and CURL's Founding Director

Phone: 847.328.9279 (home)

Email: pnyden@luc.edu

CV Link: Nyden CV 2017


Founding director of the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University Chicago and currently a Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Dr. Nyden has been a faculty member in the department since 1979 and was appointed as Director of the Loyola University Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) in January 1996. Funded by a grant and endowment from the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Center is facilitating collaborative research projects between all sectors of the university and a broad range of community organizations, health care providers, educational institutions, social service agencies, and government agencies. CURL projects have included: research on factors that produce or sustain stable, racially, ethnically, and economically diverse communities; examination of the impact of the welfare policies on economically diverse communities, an inventory of affordable housing in local communities, the impact of gentrification and displacement on African-American and Latino communities, assessing the effectiveness of community organization services to the homeless, development of culturally-sensitive approaches to the reduction of domestic violence, and peer intervention in a local middle school to reduce violence and other risk-taking behavior. In all of these activities, research teams including faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, community partners, and CURL staff work collaboratively in documenting and shaping innovative solutions to pressing urban issues.

In the late 1980s, Dr. Nyden helped to establish the Policy Research and Action Group (PRAG)—a group of Chicago-based community leaders and university-based researchers which has been building a collaborative network to bring community knowledge and perspectives to the research process. PRAG has been supported by funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. The significance of this collaborative work and connections to projects in other cities is discussed in Building Community: Social Science in Action.

In the past Dr. Nyden has worked with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, the Organization of the NorthEast, the Howard Area Community Center, the Evanston Human Relations Commission, Hull House, and the Human Relations Foundation on a variety of projects aimed at promoting stable diverse neighborhoods, improving access to quality affordable housing, gaining an understanding of the needs of youth and families in our local community, and understanding business development in economically diverse communities.

Dr. Nyden continues to examine the factors that produce stable racially, ethnically, and economically diverse communities. This follows up on a major report completed in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Published as a full issue of HUD’s policy journal, Cityscape, this study examined factors and organizational strategies that strengthen racial, ethnic, and economic diversity in 14 already diverse urban neighborhoods in nine cities (New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee, Memphis, Houston, Denver, Seattle, and Oakland). The study finds that there are two dominant types of diverse neighborhoods. Diverse-by-design neighborhoods were planned efforts growing out of the civil rights efforts of the 1960s and generally have African-American and white residents. Diverse-by-circumstance communities are the newer urban neighborhoods that are the result of growth of recent immigrant groups and are multi-racial and multi-ethnic. Sustaining the stability of diverse-by-circumstance communities represents a significant policy challenge in upcoming decades. The report provides information on both factors contributing to the stability of both communities as well as factors challenging their continued existence.

Most recently, Dr. Nyden has examined how grassroots-level collaborative research in different cities and countries can be better connected to more effectively allow communities to share valuable information and insights in addressing pressing problems. In addition to authored articles and reports, Dr. Nyden has lectured extensively on collaborative university-community research approaches and center development in the US, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

Loyola University Chicago
Professor of Sociology (1979–2017)
Sociology & Anthropology Dept. Chair (1988–1995)
Director, Center for Urban Research and Learning (1996–2016)
Professor Emeritus of Sociology (2017-Present)


University of Pennsylvania
PhD in Sociology, May 1979

University of Pennsylvania
MA in Sociology, May 1973

Drew University, Madison, New Jersey
BA with Honors, May 1972

Research Interests

  • Research on effective strategies, structures and processes to promote and strengthen collaborative university:community policy research and action where community organizations work as equal partners from conceptualization of issues and research design to report writing and dissemination. This has involved working on specific grassroots policy projects, looking at general collaboration methodologies, and making connections with projects in other cities within the US and abroad.
  • Explore ways of linking local collaborative university-community projects in multiple cities and countries as a way of strengthen community voice in regional, statewide, national, and international policy-making. This builds on past work with the University of Birmingham (England), the University of Liverpool, the University of Seville, and the Community Service and Research Centre at the University of Queensland, Ipswich. Current work with University of Technology Sydney Shopfront and a network of European "science shops" is further developing this work and exploring parallel community-based research projects.
  • Examination of factors that contribute to stable racial, ethnic, and economic diversity in urban neighborhoods.

Selected Publications

Books, Edited Journals, and Policy Reports

Public Sociology: Research, Action, and Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press/Sage Publications, 2012. Co-edited with Leslie Hossfeld and Gwendolyn Nyden.

“Differential Impact of Gentrification and Displacement on Communities of Color,” in Nyden, et al. 2012 (see above), pp. 77–83 (with J. Davis and E. Edlynn).

“Adding Vitality to Sociology: Bringing the Community Into Research,” in Kathleen Korgan, Jonathan White, Shelley White, eds. Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change, and Social Justice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press/Sage Publications, 2011. Pp. 149–153.

“Social Problems or Social Solutions? The Role of Public Sociology in Addressing Contemporary Crises,” in Michigan Sociological Review. Vol. 24, Fall 2010, pp. 5–18.

“Documenting Impacts: Engaged Research Centers and Community Change,” in Fitzgerald, H.E., Burack, C., and Seifer, S., eds. Handbook of Engaged Scholarship: The Contemporary Landscape. Vol 2., Community Campus Partnerships. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2010. Pp. 311–332. [co-authored with Stephen Percy].

Differential Impact of Gentrification on Communities in Chicago‌‌.Report to the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Chicago:Center for Urban Research and Learning, 2006 (with E. Edlyn and J. Davis).

Who is Listening to Local Communities?: Connections between Chicago Region Community-Based Organizations and Regional, State, and National Policy Initiatives‌‌. Report commissioned by the Woods Fund of Chicago. 2005. Co-authored with Nate Benefield and Maureen Hellwig.

Affordable Housing in the Chicago Region: Perspectives and Strategies‌‌. Report commissioned by the Woods Fund of Chicago. A collaborative project of CURL and the Institute for Metropolitan Affairs, Roosevelt University 2003. (co-edited with James Lewis, Kale Williams, and Nate Benefield).

The Future of Grassroots America: Local Perspectives on Current and Emerging Issues Facing Urban, Suburban, and Rural Communities‌. Report commissioned by the National Neighborhood Coalition and presented at the NNC Summit, June 25, 2003, Washington, D.C. (with G. Nyden and A. Fox).

Cityscape special issue on "Neighborhood Racial and Ethnic Diversity in US Cities," vol. 4, no. 2, 1998. (managed national research project and edited reports from nine cities in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as with J. Lukehart, W. Peterman, and M. Maly).

Black, White and Shades of Brown: Fair Housing and Economic Opportunity in the Chicago Region. Chicago:Illinois, Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, 1998 (co-authored with M. Leachman, W. Peterman, and D. Coleman).

Building Community: Social Science in Action. Thousands Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press (Sage), 1997. (Co-edited with Darryl Burrows, Anne Figert, and Mark Shibley).

Challenging Uneven Development: An Urban Agenda for the 1990s. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1991. (Co-edited with Wim Wiewel).

Chicago: Race, Class, and the Response to Urban Decline. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987 (with K. McCourt, L. Bennett, and G. Squires).

Feasibility of a Home Equity Guarantee Program in Chicago Neighborhoods. Report submitted to the Chicago Neighborhood Organizing Project and the City of Chicago, January 1986 (with K. McCourt and A. Lyons).

Steelworkers Rank-and-File: The Political Economy of the Union Reform Movement. New York: Praeger, 1984.

Articles, Reports, and Other Publications

"Sociology, Engaged Public Research, and Civic Education,” Chapter 9 in Peter Levine and Karol Edward Soltan, eds.  Civic Studies: Approaches to the Emerging Field Washington, D.C., Bringing Theory to Practice, 2014, pp 103-114.  [Part of the Civic Series supported by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.]

"The Challenges of Opportunities of Engaged Research." In Linda Silka, ed., Scholarship in Action: Applied Research and Community Change. Washington, DC, US Department of Housing and Urban Development: 2006, pp. 11–25.

"Sustaining Racially, Ethnically, and Economically Diverse Communities" in Ram Cnaan and Carl Milofsky, eds. Handbook on Community Movements and Local Organizations. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2006.

Public Sociology and the Roots of American Sociology: Re-establishing Our Connections to the Public. Report to the American Sociological Association prepared by the ASA Task Force on Institutionalizing Public Sociologies, August 2005 (served as chair of the Task Force and co-authored report with Task Force members).

"University-Community Partnerships: A Framework and an Exemplar." In L. Jason, C. Keys, Y. Suarez-Balcazar, R. Taylor, and M. Davis, eds. Participatory Community Research: Theories and Methods in Action. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2004, pp. 105–120 (with Y. Suarez-Balcazar, M. David, J. Ferrari, B. Olson, J. Alvarez, P. Molloy, and P. Toro.)

"Academic Incentives for Faculty Participating in Community-based Participatory Research," Journal of General Internal Medicine. July 2003. 18 (7), 576–585.

“Partnerships for Collaborative Action Research,” in Barbara Jacoby and Associates, eds., Building Partnerships for Service-Learning (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 2003), pp. 213–233.

"Creating Stable Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities in the United States: A Model for the Future," Social Policy and Administration (March 2001) v. 35, n. 1, pp. 32–47 [with William Peterman]

"Racial and Ethnic Diversity in US Urban Communities: Challenging the Perceived Inevitability of Segregation," in Frederick W. Boal, ed., Ethnicity and Housing: Accommodating Differences (London:Ashgate, 2000) [with Michael Maly].

Housing Discrimination and Economic Opportunity in the Chicago Region. Report to the Human Relations Foundation (Chicago), Chicago, December 1999.

"stable_urban_communities.pdfHousing Policy Debate, (1997) v. 8, issue 2, 491–534 [with John Lukehart and Mike Maly].

"Strategies for Implementing a Mentoring Program for Prospective Minority Graduate Students," Teaching Sociology, vol 24 (July 1996), 256–263 [with I. Crawford, A. Figert, and J. Reich].

Saving Our Homes: The Lessons of Community Struggles to Preserve Affordable Housing in Chicago's Uptown. Chicago: Loyola University and Organization of the NorthEast, January 1996. Report completed in conjunction with Organization of the NorthEast and funded by Chicago Community Trust [with J. Adams].

Diversity and Opportunity in a Local Economy: Community Business in Edgewater and Uptown. Chicago: Loyola University and Organization of the NorthEast, July 1993. Report completed in conjunction with Organization of the NorthEast and funded by Chicago Community Trust [with J. Adams, and L. Bennett].

"Social Action Research" in Carla Howery, Novella Perrin, John Seem and Robert Bendiksen, Teaching Sociological Practice: A Resource Book. Washington, D.C.: American Sociological Association, 1993, pp. 26–1—26–10

"Collaborative Research: Harnessing the Tensions Between Researcher and Practitioner," The American Sociologist v. 23, n. 4 (Winter 1992), 43–55 [with Wim Wiewel].

Hope for the Future: Youth, Family, and Diversity in the Edgewater and Uptown Communities. Chicago: Loyola University and Organization of the NorthEast, June 1992. Report completed in conjunction with Organization of the NorthEast and funded by Chicago Community Trust [with J. Adams and M. Mason].

Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Diversity in Uptown's Subsidized Housing: A Case Study of Its Present Character and Future Possibilities. Chicago: Human Relations Task Force of Chicago Community Trust, 1990 (co-authored with a number of graduate students also working on the project).

Perceptions of Neighborhood Change in South Evanston, Report to the City of Evanston Human Relations Commission, June 1987 (co-authored with a number of graduate students also working on the project).

Power Point Slides: