The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules

Cid Gregory Martinez Photo by Jonathan VanAntwerpen
Cid Gregory Martinez | Photo: Jonathan VanAntwerpen

“One day while working in a DONE satellite office, located in one of the roughest and poorest parts of South LA, I decided to pay a visit to the Catholic church conveniently located right across the street. I met with the priest of this church and explained my research to him, which at the time was about black and Latino relations. He looked at me and said, ‘That sounds fantastic! This is the kind of thing that, as a pastor, I am trying to figure out. The church used to be predominantly African American and now it’s mostly Latino. We have gone through many changes and your work sounds very useful for me. I will help however I can.’ Later, he would use me to help with the church in various ways. I was surprised when one day he said, ‘Oh Cid, I forgot to tell you, you are going to teach confirmation class for the youth, the teacher is pregnant and now she is ill. So you will have to take over. You start next week.’ At this parish, I sometimes attended church three to four times on weekends.”

from The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles | Cid Gregory Martinez | NYU Press 2016

In September 2016, Cid Martinez returned to the University of California, Berkeley — where he received his BA, MA, and PhD — to deliver a talk on his book that was co-sponsored by the Center for Ethnographic Research and the UC Berkeley Department of Sociology.

Currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego, Dr. Martinez is now working on a new manuscript tentatively entitled Cops and Clergy: Legitimacy, Trust and Violence Reduction. This project builds on his previous research and explores how the perceived legitimacy of local clergy is leveraged by law enforcement to reduce violence.

Read more about Cid and his work here.

Jonathan VanAntwerpen is a program director at the Henry Luce Foundation. Originally trained as a philosopher, he holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC-Berkeley.