John Goering

Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Baruch College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. Brown University in sociology and demography
Research Interests: housing and neighborhood development, race and ethnic issues, urban policy

He is the author of several dozen articles as well as editor and author of The Best Eight Blocks in Harlem (University Press, 1977); Housing Desegregation and Federal Policy (University of North Carolina Press, 1986); Mortgage Lending, Racial Discrimination and Federal Policy(Urban Institute Press, 1996); and Choosing a Better Life? Evaluating the Moving to Opportunity Experiment (Urban Institute Press, 2003). He has served on the editorial boards’ of the Urban Affairs Review, New Community, Housing Studies, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. An article summarizing research on the MTO experiment has been recently published in Journal of Housing Research. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has scheduled a policy-focused assessment of MTO for publication in their Economic Policy Review. At the Ralph Bunche Institute at The Graduate Center, he is co-directing a Mellon Foundation grant focused on the interface between international and domestic human rights policies. Before joining the faculty, John directed evaluation and research on housing, neighborhood change, and civil rights issues at HUD, and then served on the staff of the Clinton White House Initiative on Race. For the American Sociological Association, he served on their committee on Sociologists in Government (1992-1995); the Committee on Archives (1993-1998); and the Program Committee for the Year 2000 and the year 20001 ASA Annual Meetings (for ASA President’s Joe Feagin and Douglas Massey). He serves as a consultant on research and litigation for HUD.


John Goering (ed.), Fragile Rights Within Cities: Government, Housing, and Fairness (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 ).

How fair are America’s urban housing markets, and how effective is the government at ensuring open and diverse housing options for minority groups? To answer these questions, Fragile Rights Within Cities offers a current social science and policy examination of the understudied issue of equal opportunity trends and enforcement practices in housing. The contributors to this collection – who are among the country’s major analysts of race and ethnicity, housing, and public policies – provide a rich, multi-disciplinary assessment of government programs aimed at enforcing one of America’s hallmark civil rights laws. By evaluating roughly 40 years of civil rights education and enforcement within the nation’s effort to promote fairness in housing markets, these experts provide a sense of possible policy options for the future.

Thomas Weiss, Margaret Crahan, and John Goering (eds.),Wars on Terrorism and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy (London: Routledge, 2004).

Wars on Terrorism and Iraq provides a timely and critical analysis of the impact of the wars on terrorism and Iraq on human rights particularly internationally, as well as related tensions between unilateralism and multilateralism in US foreign policy. The distinguished contributors examine the consequences for international relations and world order of the traditional standard bearer for human rights and democracy (the United States) appearing not to be championing the rule of law and negotiated conflict resolution. The authors also suggest effective policies to promote greater fulfilment of human rights in order to achieve peaceful accord within nations, and stability internationally.

John Goering and Judie Feins (eds.), Choosing a Better Life? Evaluating the Moving to Opportunity Social Experiment (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 2003).

As the centerpiece of policymakers’ efforts to “deconcentrate” poverty in urban America, the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) project gave roughly 4,600 volunteer families the chance to move out of public housing projects in deeply impoverished neighborhoods in five cities-Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Researchers wanted to find out to what extent moving out of a poor neighborhood into a better-off area would improve the lives of public housing families. Choosing a Better Life? is the first distillation of years of research on the MTO project, the largest rigorously designed social experiment to investigate the consequences of moving low-income public housing residents to low-poverty neighborhoods. In this book, leading social scientists and policy experts examine the legislative and political foundations of the project, analyze the effects of MTO on lives of the families involved, and explore lessons learned from this important piece of U.S. social policy.

John Goering and Ron Wienk eds., Mortgage Lending, Racial Discrimination and Federal Policy (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1998).

This volume, representing the outcome of a May 1993 U.S. HUD conference, seeks to answer two major questions: What evidence is there of discrimination by mortgage lenders? If discrimination is occurring, how powerful or significant a force is it? Evidence is presented in the form of statistical research, counterarguments from the lending industry, and transcriptions of two landmark federal court decrees.

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