Ann Owens

Ann Owens

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California
Chapter Member: Los Angeles Unified SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Ann

Owens's research focuses on the causes and consequences of social inequality, with expertise in education and urban sociology. Overarching themes in Owens's writings include documenting trends and patterns of neighborhood and school segregation; identifying the consequences of segregation; describing patterns of neighborhood change; and examining education and housing policies that may alleviate or exacerbate contextual inequalities in schools and neighborhoods.


In the News

Ann Owens quoted on school integration by Thomas B. Edsall, "Integration vs. White Intransigence" New York Times, July 17, 2019.
Ann Owens's research on income segregation patterns across neighborhoods discussed by Emily Badger, "For Kids, Neighborhood (and Its Schools) Make All the Difference, Study Says," Boston Globe, May 11, 2016.
Ann Owens's research on buying real estate in wealthy neighborhoods discussed by Emily Badger, "The One Thing Rich Parents Do for Their Kids That Makes All the Difference," The Washington Post, May 10, 2016.


"Perceptions of Disorder and Safety amidst the Transformation of Assisted Housing" Cityscape (forthcoming).
Examines whether new assisted housing programs shape residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood’s disorder and safety. Shows how the demolition of public housing projects reduces neighborhood residents’ perceptions of violence and disorder in their community and shows that neighborhoods where many voucher users live tend to be perceived as less safe by residents.
"The New Geography of Subsidized Housing: Implications for Urban Poverty," Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 2012.
Examines how the transition from public housing projects to a combination of traditional projects, vouchers, and new types of developments affects neighborhood poverty and poverty concentration. Shows that poverty rates do not decline in neighborhoods where public housing is lost and poverty rates increase in neighborhoods where voucher users move, and that the geographic deconcentration of subsidized housing has not led to a deconcentration of poverty in U.S. metro areas.
"Community Well-Being and the Great Recession," (with Robert J. Sampson), Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, April 30, 2013.

Examines how communities have fared in the Great Recession in terms of poverty, vacancy, and unemployment rates. Shows that reductions in neighborhood well-being were borne unequally across neighborhoods during the recession, with already disadvantaged and minority communities experiencing larger increases in poverty, vacancy, and particularly unemployment rates, suggesting that the Great Recession has intensified inequality among neighborhoods.

"Neighborhoods on the Rise: A Typology of Neighborhoods Experiencing Socioeconomic Ascent" City & Community 11, no. 4 (2012): 345-369.
Provides an account of the types of neighborhoods in which socioeconomic conditions improved in each decade from 1970 to the late 2000s. Shows that white suburban neighborhoods make up the bulk of neighborhoods experiencing socioeconomic improvements but minority and immigrant neighborhoods became increasingly likely to ascend over time.
"Neighborhoods and Schools as Competing and Reinforcing Contexts for Educational Attainment" Sociology of Education 83, no. 4 (2010): 287-311.
Finds that children from disadvantaged neighborhoods have lower high school and college graduation rates when attending school with more advantaged peers, while children from advantaged neighborhoods receive an additional boost when attending school with more advantaged peers.