Elijah Anderson

Elijah Anderson's picture
Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies
Ph.D., Sociology, Northwestern University, 1976
Areas of Interest: 
Urban Inequality; Ethnography; Cultural Sociology; Social Deviance; Race Relations; Theory

Dr. Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University, and a Stockholm Prize Laureate in Criminology. His most recent publications are “Black Success, White Backlash,” (The Atlantic, November 2023), an introduction to a new edition of W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Philadelphia Negro (The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023), and “The Fault Lines of Race and Space”: an interview by Jelani Cobb, published online in Vital City on 4/28. Other publications include “The Benevolent Despot” in the DuBois Handbook (forthcoming from Oxford University Press); Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (2022);  Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003); and The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, (2011).

Professor Anderson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 Merit Award from the Eastern Sociological Society and three prestigious awards from the American Sociological Association, including the 2013 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, the 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, and the 2021 Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Dr. Anderson has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is formerly a vice-president of the American Sociological Association. He has served in an editorial capacity for a wide range of professional journals and special publications, including Qualitative Sociology, Ethnography, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, City & Community, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. He has also served as a consultant to a variety of government agencies, including the White House, the United States Congress, the National Academy of Science and the National Science Foundation.

Additionally, he served as a member of the National Research Council’s Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior.  In 2021, he was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, the world’s most prestigious award in the field.  

 Yale News

Recent Publications



  • Anderson, Elijah (2022), “Search for the Benevolent Despot: W. E. B. Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro,” in The W. E. B. Du Bois Handbook, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.  Available online.  Forthcoming in print  2024.
  • Anderson, Elijah (2018). “Race Relations since the Ghetto Riots of the 1960s,” in Fred Harris and Alan Curtis (eds.) Healing our Divided Society: Investing in America Fifty Years after the Kerner Report, pp. 263-272. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

  • Anderson, Elijah and Jamie J. Fader (2008) “Urban Underclass,” in Vincent N. Parrillo (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Problems, pp.986-88. Sage Publications.

  • Anderson, Elijah (2006). “Inadequate Responses, Limited Expectations,” in Eugenie L. Birch and Susan M. Wachter (eds.) Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster: Lessons From Hurricane Katrina, pp. 193-200. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Anderson, Elijah and Faye Allard (2004). “Ethnography,” in Kimberly Kempf-Leonard (ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Measurement. Academic Press.

  • Anderson, Elijah (2001). “Urban Ethnography,” in N.J. Smelser and P.B. Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, pp. 16004-08. Elsevier, Inc.