In the Fall of 2016, Dr. Jackson’s Urban Sociology students spent time in the Atlantic City community specifically with the Black Lives Matter Atlantic City Chapter. This project is part of a larger research project that Dr. Jackson is conducting called “Transforming Atlantic County: How City Officials, University and Community Stakeholders Understand Progress, Change and Renewal.” Within her class, students participated in a community perspectives project where they learned about urban sociology while conducting a service learning project with the chapter. Students participated in monthly forums on different issues affecting the community as well as interviewed residents about their perceptions on the social, political and economic changes in Atlantic County.
Check out posts from students in the drop down menu to hear about the insights they have learned from interviewing residents.
This Urban Sociology course has four fundamental and powerful concepts (F&Ps): power, environment, behavior and interactions. By the end of the Fall project, the students and I reflected on our F &Ps but also several themes they found in their interviews and from participating in community forums.
- more of a mutual relationship between community and government needed
- hearing a sense of abandonment and distrust from residents
- advocating more for a steady diversified economy
- arts and cultural economy drawing a middle class to the city
- casino closing and effect on residents; factor contributing to unemployment
- residents tend to have more connections to local than state governments
- “AC built on gambling money” and doesn’t have a stable economic structure
- community events are usually for “tourism” and not for existing residents
- residents use “placemaking” to have a sense of control and reverses the temporariness that residents feel