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Waverly Duck

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh.


Waverly Duck is an urban ethnographer whose primary research examines the social order of neighborhoods and institutional settings. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Wayne State University. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Prof. Duck served as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and held a post-doctoral appointment at Yale University in addition to serving as the associate director of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project where he is currently a Senior Fellow. Prof. Duck has also served as visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the Waisman Center, a research clinic dedicated to examining childhood psychopathology. While at the Waisman Center, Prof. Duck was selected as an inaugural Morse Fellow, a research and training fellowship dedicated to examining childhood mental health and developmental disabilities (https://www.waisman.wisc.edu/administrative-core/morse-society/morse-alumni/).

His academic areas of interest are urban sociology, inequality (race, class, gender, health and age), qualitative methods, culture, ethnomethodology and ethnography. His research on masculinity, health, crime and violence, and inequality has appeared in the journals Ethnography, Critical Sociology, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Crime, Law and Social Change and African American Studies.

His recent book, No Way Out: Precarious Living in the Shadow of Poverty and Drug Dealing with the University of Chicago Press, challenges the common misconception of urban ghettos as chaotic places where drug dealing, street crime, and random violence make daily life dangerous for everyone. No Way Out explores how neighborhood residents make sense of their lives within severe constraints as they choose among very unrewarding prospects. His second manuscript, Ethnographies is under contract with Paradigm Press, examines the history of ethnography in sociological research.