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Tony Cheng

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Sociology
417 Chapel Drive, Box 90088, Reuben-Cooke Building Rm 258, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications


Settling institutional uncertainty: Policing Chicago and New York, 1877–1923

Journal Article Criminology · August 1, 2023 We show how both the Chicago Police Department and the New York Police Department sought to settle uncertainty about their propriety and purpose during a period when abrupt transformations destabilized urban order and called the police mandate into questio ... Full text Open Access Cite

Racialized policing in the social media age.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · December 2022 Full text Open Access Cite

The Cumulative Discretion of Police over Community Complaints

Journal Article American Journal of Sociology · May 1, 2022 Many policing practices that scholars have identified as deeply flawed are precisely those demanded in police-community meetings. How do initiatives intended for police reform become dominated by demands for more policing? I analyze 1.5 years of ethnograph ... Full text Open Access Cite

Regulatory intermediaries and the challenge of democratic policing

Journal Article Criminology and Public Policy · February 1, 2022 Research summary: This study examines a model for achieving democratic governance over police departments: regulatory intermediaries, where non-state actors are empowered with regulatory authority over public institutions. Drawing on a decade of transcript ... Full text Open Access Cite

Social media, socialization, and pursuing legitimation of police violence*

Journal Article Criminology · August 1, 2021 Every day, police departments across America are executing stops, summonses, arrests, and increasingly, tweeting. Although scholarship has focused on how social media democratizes news production and information sharing for activist movements, it has yet t ... Full text Open Access Cite

Input without Influence: The Silence and Scripts of Police and Community Relations

Journal Article Social Problems · February 1, 2020 Since its establishment in 1993, the Department of Justice's Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services has invested $14 billion into local police departments' efforts to improve community relations. Yet in 2015, the public's confidence in police reach ... Full text Open Access Cite

Erratum: Input without influence: The silence and scripts of police and community relations (Social Problems (2019) (spz007) DOI: 10.1093/socpro/spz007)

Journal Article Social Problems · February 1, 2020 Upon initial publication, the abstract incorrectly stated that the research comprised six years of data when, in fact, the research comprised seven years of data. This has been corrected in the abstract. ... Full text Cite

Understanding the Crime Gap: Violence and Inequality in an American City

Journal Article City and Community · December 1, 2018 The United States has experienced an unprecedented decline in violent crime over the last two decades. Throughout this decline, however, violent crime continued to concentrate in socially and economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Using detailed h ... Full text Open Access Cite

Service cynicism: How civic disengagement develops

Journal Article Politics and Society · March 1, 2018 How does civic disengagement develop? This article examines the theory that the dissatisfaction and disengagement citizens develop toward one government agency can extend to an alternative agency. Leveraging police precinct-level data on 311 calls and crim ... Full text Open Access Cite

Recruitment through Rule Breaking: Establishing Social Ties with Gang Members

Journal Article City and Community · March 1, 2018 Many contemporary violence prevention programs direct concentrated law enforcement, social service, or educational attention toward individuals engaged in violence, and yet, this population is often avoiding this precise attention. Drawing on 18 months of ... Full text Open Access Cite

Violence Prevention and Targeting the Elusive Gang Member

Journal Article Law and Society Review · March 1, 2017 Who do violence preventers target to achieve violence prevention? This fundamental question of selection is typically associated with law enforcement, yet gang labeling is critical in another context: nonprofit violence prevention. Eighteen months of field ... Full text Open Access Cite