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John Balzarini, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
129a Delaware Hall
jbalzarini [at] desu.edu


Ph.D. 2013 Temple University, Sociology. 
Dissertation Committee: Anne Shlay (Chair), Matt Wray, Kevin Delaney and Bryant Simon.
Dissertation Title:  Casino Development and the Right to the City: Conflict and Community Place-Making in Philadelphia. 

M.A. 2006 Temple University, Sociology. 

B.A.  2001 West Chester University, Sociology.

Research Interests/Area

  • Urban Sociology
  • Community
  • Uneven Development and Inequality
  • Urban Culture
  • Gentrification
  • Landlords and Housing
  • Social Movements
  • Neoliberal Urbanization
  • Social Networks and Social Capital

Professional Memberships

  • 2004-Present   American Sociological Association
  • 2011-Present   Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
  • 2011-Present   Urban Affairs Association
  • 2012-Present   Eastern Sociological Society


  • 2018  John E. Balzarini and Anne B. Shlay.  “The Strength of Strong Ties Reconsidered: Social Ties and   Collective Power in a Gentrifying Community.”  Social Currents. 5(1): 67-85.    
  • 2016  John E. Balzarini and Anne B. Shlay.  “Gentrification and the Right to the City: Community Conflict and Casinos.”  Journal of Urban Affairs.  38(4): 503-517.
  • 2016  John E. Balzarini.  Review of Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.  Journal of Children and Poverty.  22(2): 149-150.
  • 2016  John E. Balzarini.  Review of Andrea S. Boyles, Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for ComfortContemporary Sociology.  45(6): 727-728.
  • 2015  Anne B. Shlay and John Balzarini.  “Urban Sociology.”  In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 24.  Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 926–933.
  • 2005  John Balzarini, Rebecca Jenkins, Whitney Miles, Mellissa Pittaoulis, Alma-Kristina Rodriguez and Helen Marie Rosenbaum.  “For whom Transformation Tolls?  Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Revitalization Project.”  In CUSS News: Newsletter of the Community & Urban Sociology Section

Presentations (Selected)

Invited Presentations

  • 2018  Panelist: “Regional Spotlight: Inequality in the Philadelphia Area.”  Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2018  Panelist: “Sociology Alumni in Academic Careers.”  Temple University, Department of Sociology, Philadelphia, PA.

Conference Presentations  

  • 2017  “The Attitudes and Agency of Landlords in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.”  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, Minneapolis, MN.   
  • 2017  “Community Activism and the Power of Place-Based Social Ties.”  Paper Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2017  “Gatekeeping Community: The Role of Landlords in Shaping Neighborhood Change.”  (Melody Boyd, co-presenter) Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2016  “Place-Identity and the Right to the City: Gentrification, Ethnicity and Anti-Casino Activism.”  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, San Diego, CA.
  • 2015  “The Strength of Strong Ties and Collective Power in a Gentrifying Philadelphia Community.”  Paper presented at the Delaware State University Roundtable Seminar Series, Dover, DE.


2018 National Science Foundation (with Melody Boyd, SUNY Brockport): “Gatekeeping Communities: The Role of Landlords in Neighborhood Change and Gentrification” ($56,904).


  • SCCJ 305 Urban Sociology
  • SCCJ 310 Social Stratification
  • SCCJ 408 Sociology of Poverty
  • SCCJ 448 Senior Seminar
  • SCCJ 351 Sociology of the Family
  • SCCJ 101H Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
  • SCCJ 200 Writing in the Major​​​​​​​
  • SCCJ 435 Social Change​​​​​​​
  • SCCJ 202 Social Deviance​​​​​​​
  • SCCJ 191-192 University Seminar I & II