Mario L. Small

Mario L. Small, Ph.D., is a Quetelet Professor of Social Science in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. He has made numerous contributions to research on urban neighborhoods, personal networks, qualitative and mixed methods, and many other topics.  He has shown that poor neighborhoods in commonly-studied cities such as Chicago are not representative of ghettos everywhere, that how people conceive of their neighborhood shapes how its conditions affect them, and that local organizations in poor neighborhoods often broker connections to both people and organizations.  Small has demonstrated that people's social capital—including how many people they know and how much they trust others—depends on the organizations in which they are embedded.  His work on methods has shown that many practices used to make qualitative research more scientific are ineffective.  Small's most recent book examines why people are consistently willing to confide their deepest worries to people they are not close to.