Robert P. Fairbanks II

Hometown: 
Hamilton, NY
Education: 
PhD Social Welfare, University of Pennsylvania
MSW, University of Vermont
BA English, Boston College
Courses: 
URBS 104 The Transformation of Urban America
URBS 400 Senior Seminar
URBS 420 Perspectives on Urban Poverty

Additional Information:

Robert Fairbanks is a Lecturer and Fellow in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Visiting Professor of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College. His fields of interest include urban ethnography, urban studies, welfare state theory, and critical social policy analysis. Professor Fairbanks teaches courses on urban poverty, the political economy of urban development, and the history and philosophy of the welfare state. His research focuses on the ways in which informal poverty survival mechanisms articulate with the restructuring of the contemporary welfare state and the political economy of cities. His most recent book, How it Works: Recovering Citizens in Post-Welfare Philadelphia (University of Chicago Press, 2009), is an ethnographic project that examines how unlicensed, unregulated drug and alcohol recovery houses operate as street-level anti-poverty strategies and mechanisms of governmentality in postindustrial Philadelphia. He has also co-edited a project titled, "Critical ethnography in the neoliberal city" which appeared as a special issue of Ethnography. Professor Fairbanks is currently working on a second book entitled, Structure Up: The Political Economy of Prison-Based Treatment in Illinois and Chicago, which is an ethnographic study of the largest addiction treatment prison in the United States.