The Lehman Lab for Social Analysis is an interactive, integrated laboratory for interdisciplinary teaching and collaborative research concerning contemporary issues in the Bronx and the wider urban context of New York City. This new initiative offers cutting edge, multidisciplinary opportunities for rigorous student research on topics of pressing contemporary concern to the communities of the Bronx.
The Lehman Lab comprises a research lattice: in the Lab faculty and students develop collaborative research networks, which work together to address interconnected research concerns. This research lattice provides unique opportunities for students to engage in hands-on research within their communities, producing multi-dimensional results. First, students who have limited access to engage in original STEM research will benefit from experience with both qualitative and quantitative social science research. Second, by engaging on research topics that focus on Bronx-based urban issues, students from the Bronx have the opportunity to contribute analysis of their lived experience and embedded knowledge to the social scientific literature on such crucial issues as guns in society, migration and nutrition, social and viral networks, dynamics of immigration and diaspora formation, the creation and loss of home, wealth and poverty, and connections between educational opportunities and pathways of success. In this sense, students’ social experiences are valorized by bringing them together with both scholarly literature and rigorous research methods, providing students with the tools for research and reflection on the contexts of their lives. Third, sustained attention to the ethnographic contexts of the Bronx will advance scholarly understandings of compelling contemporary urban issues. Fourth, the Lehman Lab will provide a space for exploring innovative methodologies for both research and teaching. Finally, the Lab provides an engaging intellectual environment that also nurtures professional skills among undergraduate students, fostering a new generation of leaders in research, engaged scholarship, public advocacy, and policy. Through their engagement with the Lab, students become engaged scholars.