Brian McCabe

Brian J. McCabe is Associate Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.

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He holds secondary appointments an adjunct instructor in the Regional and Urban Planning program at the School of Continuing Studies; a core faculty member in the program on Justice and Peace Studies; an affiliated faculty member in the Department of African-American Studies; and an affiliated faculty member in the McCourt School of Public Policy.


McCabe is the author of No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community and the Politics of Homeownership (Oxford University Press, 2016). In the book, he unpacks the challenges of strengthening communities through homeownership as owning a home has emerged as the core vehicle for building wealth in the United States. McCabe is working on a new book manuscript about the voucher lotteries used to ration housing assistance in the Housing Choice Voucher program. Drawing on interviews with officials at more than fifty housing authorities, as well as administrative data from the program, the book asks how housing authorities exercise their discretionary authority to serve low-income households, and about the way these decisions create inequalities among poor families.


In addition to this book manuscript, McCabe is working on a project (with Eva Rosen, McCourt School of Public Policy) about the racialized geography of evictions in Washington, DC. He is also leading a multi-year project (with Jennifer Heerwig, Stony Brook University) on Seattle's Democracy Vouchers program, an innovate public financing program for municipal elections.


Since coming to Georgetown, McCabe has published in a range of interdisciplinary journals, including Social Forces, Sociological Science, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, City & Community, the Journal of Urban Economics, Housing Policy Debate, and the Journal of the American Planning Association. He regularly presents research at the American Sociological Association, the Urban Affairs Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal, City & Community.


At Georgetown, McCabe teaches courses on urban studies, gentrification, housing policy and social research methods. His course offerings include: The City: Approaches to Urban Studies (SOC-209), Neighborhoods, Poverty & Inequality in Washington, DC (SOC-221), Gentrification, Justice and the Future of Cities (SOC-222), and Public Housing: Theory and Practice (SOC-223). McCabe is currently leading the development of a six-credit, studio-based course on gentrification in Washington, DC for undergraduate students.


An alumnus of Georgetown, McCabe graduated from the School of Foreign Service in 2002. He completed a Masters degree in urban geography at the London School of Economics in 2004 and a PhD in the Sociology Department at New York University in 2011.