You must answer two of the following questions. The content of the questions may overlap somewhat, but your answers should not have much overlap with each other. Your completed exam must be submitted on Canvas by 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, February 28th. Though length will vary depending on your style of writing, you must write at least 4 double-spaced pages for each question. Be sure to address every aspect of the question.Your answers must be submitted as a single document in Microsoft Word or pdf format. The answers must adhere to the following guidelines:1. Describe the fundamental tenets of social disorganization theory, starting from its origins with Shaw and McKay and continuing through the more recent extensions such as the concept of collective efficacy by Sampson’s and others. Include a discussion of the empirical research that has tested the theory and its extensions.2. Compare and contrast the social disorganization perspective (e.g. Shaw & McKay and Sampson) with the differential organization perspective (e.g. Anderson’s “code of the street”). How are the two perspectives compatible, and how are they incompatible? Be sure to include a discussion of empirical research for each perspective. Given that they are considerably different in many ways, how do you think it is possible that empirical evidence has found support for both?3. Robert Sampson’s book, Great American City, makes the case that life is decisively shaped by where you live. Each chapter in the book supports this argument in a different way, including (but not limited to) thorough discussions of the theory of collective efficacy, the influence of disorder, and mobility experiments. Based on the arguments and research evidence in this book, describe two specific programs or policies that could be implemented by cities or neighborhoods to reduce levels of crime in neighborhoods. For each of the two programs you propose, you must describe the program and explain why you would expect it to be successful in reducing crime based on the arguments made in the book. You cannot simply give your own opinion about what would reduce neighborhood crime levels. Each program must be supported by specific arguments made in the book.Provide in-text citations for any information you draw from the readings (e.g. Recent research has found that…. (Kubrin and Wo 2016)).Use a 12pt font such as Arial or Times New Roman, double-spacedUse margins no larger than 1”.At the beginning of each answer, clearly indicate which question number you are answering, but do not type the actual question in your document.Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting will be part of your grade.A title sheet is not required.Provide in-text citations for any information you draw from the readings (e.g. Recent research has found that…. (Kubrin and Wo 2016)).You do not need a references/works cited page if all of your citations come from the course readings. If you draw on anything outside the course–which is absolutely not necessary–you should provide a separate references page at the very end of your submission. Any recognized format is fine (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago style, etc). This reference page does not count toward your page count.Avoid including direct quotes from the readings. Instead, put things into your own words and then provide a citation at the end of the sentence. You only need to include page numbers in your citation if you are citing a direct quote. The best submissions will have no direct quotes.we also used Sampson, Robert J. 2012. Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9780226055688. I can give the Chegg login if needed.
You must answer two of the following questions. The content of the questions may overlap somewhat, but your answers should not have much overlap with each other. Your completed exam must be submitted
CCJ 5625 – Ecology of Crime Supplementary Lecture Notes Week 7: Differential Organization Background for this week’s readings This week we shift to a different theoretical perspective sometimes referred to as “differential social organization” or just “differential organization.” A fundamental premise of this perspective is that there may be various value systems around which neighborhoods might be “organized.” That is, contrary to the social disorganization perspective, high crime neighborhoods may actually be highly organized, just around a set of values that is more conducive to crime. While social disorganization theory suggests there is something deficient in neighborhoods that prevents them from effectively controlling the behavior of their residents, differential organization theory suggests that some neighborhoods have a different cultural orientation that may actually motivate residents to engage in crime. This is related to a micro-level theory largely credited to Edwin Sutherland (1939) called “differential association theory.” If you have taken a course on criminological theory, you have probably learned about this perspective. In general, it argues that there is not always complete consensus within a given society about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Given these conflicting sets of rules and attitudes, whether or not an individual engages in crime is largely determined by whether they are more exposed to attitudes favorable toward crime or to attitudes unfavorable toward crime. For Sutherland, the question of why people engage in crime is largely related to this balance of attitudes that people are exposed to. Nearly everyone is exposed to some people who are supportive of crime, delinquency, or deviance, and nearly everyone is exposed to some people who are not supportive of those things. Sutherland argued if you are exposed to a larger number of people with attitudes favorable to crime, you are more likely to engage in crime yourself. Again, this is a micro-level theory, but it is not too difficult to see how it could be extended to a macro level such as neighborhoods. Certain neighborhoods may develop a prevailing set of Page 1 norms that are favorable toward , or at least less disapproving of, criminal and delinquent behavior. Of course, r esidents in such neighborhoods are still likely to be exposed to attitudes unfavorable toward crime such as from parents, teachers, and religious leaders. Nonetheless, living in a neighborhood characterized by a greater tolerance of criminal behavior may be enough to tip the balance of unfavorable vs. favorable attitudes, thus mak ing residents in such neighborhoods more likely to engage in crime themselves. Keep in mind, however, that a macro-level view of differential association is different from simply arguing that the individual-level effect can be aggregated up to neighborhoods. That is, a purely micro-level approach would say some neighborhoods are higher in crime because a larger number of people living there are exposed to attitudes favorable toward crime. That is the description of an individual-level effect. It may be more or less prevalent in certain neighborhoods, which would cause some neighborhoods to be higher in crime, but it is still an individual-level argument. In order to support a macro -level version of differential association, we would need to argue that neighborhoods have an effect on behavior above and beyond the individual-level effect of exposure to attitudes. We would need to claim that there is something about neighborhoods themselves that promotes attitudes favorable to crime. I think one clear way to differentiate these micro- and macro-level explanations is this: Is there a feature or characteristic of neighborhoods, related to differential association, that would cause an increase in offending even for someone who is not exposed to a disproportionate number of attitudes favorable to crime? For that person, the individual-level explanation would not predict involvement in crime, but it is still possible that a macro-level explanation could predict involvement in crime for that person if they live in a neighborhood that is conducive to crime. This week’s readings give us an example of a feature of neighborhoods that could contribute to crime and delinquency. As you will see, both assigned readings discuss a concept referred to as the “code of the street.” From the differential organization perspective, we might view this “code” as a value system that supports criminal and delinquent behavior, and specifically violent behavior. Though that support may range from a minimum level (failing to Page 2 sufficiently disapprove of violence) to a maximum level (direct motivation to engage in violence), the point is that some neighborhoods may be organized around a set of prevailing social norms that are more conducive to crime. As you read through these articles, be sure to think about what might give rise to these different sets of norms. Why would there be one set of norms about crime and violence in one community and a different set in another community? Anderson, in particular, discusses the broad social forces that may have contributed to this, so pay close attention because I could certainly ask about this on the exam. Have a great week! References Sutherland, Edwin H. 1939. Principles of Criminology , 3 rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott. Page 3
You must answer two of the following questions. The content of the questions may overlap somewhat, but your answers should not have much overlap with each other. Your completed exam must be submitted
CCJ 5625 – Ecology of Crime Supplementary Lecture Notes for Week 5 All of the readings over the past two weeks, as well the readings this week, are related to social disorganization in some way. As you already know, social disorganization theory was originally developed many decades ago by Shaw and McKay at the University of Chicago. However, its most important applications in the recent past are based on extensions and expansions of the theory. Before discussing those extensions, I will provide a brief review of Shaw and McKay’s original formulation of the theory. Then we will discuss some of the ways in which it has been extended. Much of the readings from Robert Sampson’s book, Great American City , will continue to expand on the theory, as will the book Divergent Social Worlds , which we will read later this semester. By the end of the semester, you will be an expert in social disorganization theory! To review, Shaw and McKay argued that crime rates will be higher in neighborhoods with higher levels of poverty, racial and ethnic heterogeneity, and residential mobility. That is, they expected crime rates to be highest in neighborhoods that were poor, that had a diverse mix of racial and ethnic groups, and where people were constantly moving in and out. To understand the basis of these arguments, it is important to keep in mind that Shaw and McKay were writing at a time when dramatic social and demographic changes where occurring in the city of Chicago, and in the United States overall. Largely due to the shift to an industrial economy and the wave of urbanization that it entailed, Chicago rapidly developed from a small town of about 30,000 people in 1850 to a large, densely populated metropolis of over 3 million people in 1930. During that time, Chicago also experienced a massive wave of immigration, initially from Western European countries such as Germany and England, and later from countries in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe. Toward the end of this period, Chicago also experienced a very large influx of African-Americans, which was part of the broader “Great Migration” in the United States wherein blacks migrated in large numbers from the rural South to manufacturing centers in the Northeast and Midwest where jobs were most abundant. These dramatic socioeconomic changes in Chicago were occurring at the same time that American urban sociology (and eventually its descendant, criminology) was emerging and developing as a discipline at the University of Chicago. Its scholars were especially dedicated to identifying and understanding the effects that these rapid changes were having on residents, neighborhoods, and the city as a whole. Shaw and McKay were among these scholars. They were specifically interested in explaining why certain neighborhoods in Chicago remained high in crime despite the fact that the composition of people living in those neighborhoods was constantly changing. Before this emergence of the Chicago School, most theories of crime were micro-level ( remember that from above!) . Such theories argued that certain types of individuals were more likely to engage in crime, so neighborhood crime rates were high simply because those types of individuals tended to live there. However, Shaw and McKay observed that crime rates in some neighborhoods remained high despite the fact that they changed from being predominantly German neighborhoods, to predominantly Italian, to predominantly Black, and so Page 1 on. Moreover, when a racial/ethnic group moved out of those high crime neighborhoods and into lower crime neighborhoods, crime in those new neighborhoods tended not to increase. Therefore, they argued there was something about the neighborhood that caused it to be higher in crime, not something about the types of individuals that lived there–a macro-level explanation. Now that we understand a little more about the historical context within which Shaw and McKay were writing, it is not surprising that they pointed to major socioeconomic trends of that period as explanations for high crime in neighborhoods. They argued that these processes of industrialization, urbanization, and mass immigration created neighborhoods with a constant turnover of residents (people moving in and out), as well as a diverse mix of languages and cultural backgrounds among the groups that lived there. This impeded the development of strong social ties, cohesion, and collective norms within these neighborhoods, which in turn made it more difficult to control neighborhood residents from engaging in crime. Shaw and McKay found support for their theoretical arguments using extensive and innovative (for that time) statistical analyses. Though Shaw and McKay have had a lasting impact on criminology through the development of their theory, the empirical research that they and others conducted had some important shortcomings. First, though social disorganization was thought to cause crime in neighborhoods, some researchers measured social disorganization using crime itself. Thus, they were essentially arguing that high crime in a neighborhood caused high crime in that neighborhood—not a particularly fascinating insight! Second, though at times Shaw and McKay were quite clear about why they thought things like high residential turnover and ethnic heterogeneity caused high crime rates, they were unable to directly test those hypotheses. For example, the figure below presents a simple causal model that links residential mobility to high crime rates in neighborhoods. Specifically, it suggests that a large amount of turnover in neighborhood residents (residential mobility) causes residents to have fewer social ties (e.g. weaker friendship networks and less neighboring), which leads to lower levels of informal surveillance by neighborhood residents (informal social control), which leads to higher crime. The early research by Shaw and McKay and others was only able to establish the relationship between residential mobility and crime rates, without testing the “in-between” characteristics (called “mediating” characteristics) that explain why residential mobility is associated with crime rates. As you read earlier this semester in the article by Kubrin & Wo (2016), some of those mediating characteristics are things like social ties, friendship networks, and informal social control. Earlier this semester we had a lively discussion about the role of neighborhood ties, and the chapters from Sampson’s book that you read last week and this week provide additional research evidence showing that neighborhoods with these characteristics tend to have lower levels of crime. Page 2residential mobility weak social ties less informal surveillance higher crime rates The chapter by Kubrin & Wo also introduced the concept of collective efficacy , and Chapter 7 in Sampson’s book discusses it at much greater length. In fact, most of the chapters in Sampson’s book address collective efficacy at least to some extent, which is not surprising given that he has been a very important researcher on this topic. As you will read, the notion of collective efficacy raises the possibility that strong social ties may not be necessary for reducing crime as long as neighborhood residents are 1) willing to intervene for the good of the neighborhood (e.g. when they see people “causing trouble” or “up to no good”), and 2) trust their neighbors to do the same. Extensive research over the past decade has provided considerable evidence to support this argument, and you will read about much of that research in this week’s readings. I want to briefly discuss some interesting research (which we don’t have time to read in this course, unfortunately) which suggests that sometimes dense social networks in neighborhoods can actually have the opposite effect—in some cases they may actually lead to higher levels of crime. In an excellent book called Black Picket Fences by Mary Patillo-McKoy, she explains that in neighborhoods with a very high degree of familiarity among residents, people may be reluctant to report crime and delinquency to the authorities. In her study using qualitative methods of direct observation and in-depth interviews, she describes one example where a neighborhood resident didn’t want to officially report the criminal behavior of a young man in the neighborhood because “his mama is such a sweet lady” (p. 763). This serves as an example of the potential adverse consequences of dense social networks in neighborhoods. Other researchers have since provided additional support for this argument. A series of studies by Christopher Browning and his associates (2004, 2009) have labeled this concept “negotiated coexistence,” hypothesizing that as strong ties and social interaction increase in a neighborhood, residents (both offenders and others) become increasingly interdependent. As argued by social disorganization theory and its extensions, this can have a beneficial effect of reducing crime in the neighborhood because people are more likely to watch out for each other and help control neighborhood crime. However, these dense networks and interdependence can also have a harmful effect because neighborhood residents may have social ties with, or at least some familiarity with, offenders in the neighborhood, and are thus less likely to report their behavior to authorities. This suggests a very complex interplay between social ties, informal social control, and neighborhood crime rates. Keep this in mind as you read the chapters this week, as it creates an interesting alternative to the seemingly straightforward argument that strong social ties in neighborhoods are always beneficial for reducing crime. New references Browning, Christopher R. 2009. “Illuminating the Downside of Social Capital: Negotiated Coexistence, Property Crime, and Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods.” American Behavioral Scientist , 52:1556-1578. Browning, Christopher R., Robert D. Dietz, and Seth L. Feinberg. 2004. “The Paradox of Social Organization: Networks, Collective Efficacy, and Violent Crime in Urban Page 3 Neighborhoods.” Social Forces , 83:503-534. Patillo-McKoy, Mary. 2000. Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Page 4
You must answer two of the following questions. The content of the questions may overlap somewhat, but your answers should not have much overlap with each other. Your completed exam must be submitted
CCJ 5625 – Ecology of Crime Wrap-up for Discussion Question 1 and Week 3 Lecture Notes First, a few general notes about the course… Now that we have made our way through the first two weeks of the semester, which included the first reading assignment and the first discussion question, I thought it would be helpful to review a few things about the course so everyone is “on the same page.” Most of this information is also included in the syllabus which you should have read very carefully by now, but it might help to reiterate a few things here. • First, though there are two ‘textbooks’ listed in the syllabus, these are not like traditional textbooks that would typically cover all the topics in the course. Rather, they are both monographs that each cover a single topic (though quite broadly). We will start reading Great American City next week, so be sure to order it as soon as possible if you haven’t already. For weeks when we are not reading chapters from one of these books, the readings for the week are listed in the syllabus, and you can find the pdf files in the weekly “Module” on Canvas. • Second, as you already know since you are reading this document, during certain weeks of the semester there will be supplementary lecture notes. The information in these notes will serve various purposes, including 1) reviewing progress that we have made in the course so far, and offering important tips on how to improve your grade, 2) providing additional background on the topic for that week, 3) providing additional examples of the kind of research that has been conducted on that particular topic, 4) discussing any limitations or weaknesses in the readings for that week, 5) discussing important policy implications, 6) etc…. When there are lecture notes for a week, I will always make an announcement and upload the notes to Canvas as a PDF file in the module for that week. Be sure to read the notes along with the other readings for that week. You may also incorporate them into your discussion posting. Again, there won’t be lecture notes every week, but when there are, don’t forget to read them! • Lastly, let’s briefly review how the discussion postings work. During weeks that are identified as a “Discussion posting week” in the course schedule (found at the end of the syllabus), you are required to make an initial discussion posting by the Friday of that week at 11:59 PM ET. Then you must respond to the posting of at least one other student by the following Sunday at 11:59 PM ET. Of course, you are welcome to make either posting before the due date/time. Just be sure not to be late because you will lose points! Note that there is another discussion question due this week. Conceptualization and the ‘community question’ When systematically studying any topic, we must first identify and define the key concepts that we will be studying. If you have ever taken a research methods course, you may have learned that this process is typically referred to as “conceptualization.” It often starts by identifying the conceptions or “mental images” that arise when we think about the concept, which we then categorize, refine, and ultimately develop into a “conceptual definition.” One key concept that we will be working with throughout this course is “community,” and the first discussion question was our initial step in conceptualizing this term. The ensuing discussion was very interesting and lively, and I was pleased to see that many of you seemed to put nearly as much time into your response postings as you did your original post. When we have such an effective and extensive back-and-forth, the discussion postings can truly simulate the type of discussion we would have in a classroom. In fact, discussions in DL courses can be even more stimulating than in-person class discussions because you have more time to think about the points being made, and to develop your responses. You certainly achieved that level of discourse in response to last week’s discussion question. Great work! The quality of the discussion is reflected in the grades, as nearly everyone received full credit for their initial posting and response posting. For the handful of people that lost some points, it was because you did not directly cite the readings, your posting lacked depth or was too vague, or there was no response posting. Fortunately, these shortcomings are not difficult to remedy, and those of you who received the full 10 points, just keep up the good work! In reviewing all of the discussing postings, I saw many similar themes across the postings, but also many differences in how each of you view the concept of community. Many of you emphasized the role of connections and shared interests, citing Chaskin’s argument that communities typically involve “some combination of shared beliefs, circumstances, priorities, relationships, or concerns.” This suggests that communities are something more than simply geographic areas. Indeed, several of you noted a potential distinction between the terms ‘neighborhood’ and ‘community,’ with the former being predominantly determined by geographic boundaries, and the latter determined more by social connections, shared backgrounds, and mutual concerns. Perhaps these connections are what is most important, and criminologists should focus more on them than on geographic boundaries? On the other hand, it is clear that many of you believe geographic proximity is also important. Several of you explicitly favored the concept of “community of limited liability” at least partly because it retains the importance of some sort of geographic boundary. This common sentiment is reflected in the posted statements that “there are not exact geographical lines that define a community,” but “it is still important to include geographical area when we define community.” One way to organize the various approaches to the “community question” is provided in a highly influential, though rather dated, article by Wellman and Leighton (1979). This article, which is briefly cited by Chaskin, directly addresses the question of whether geographic nearness is an important component of community. They describe three different approaches that researchers have typically followed when discussing communities— community lost , community saved , and community liberated . The first approach, community lost , essentially argues that local community ties have been drastically weakened over time due to major political, technological, and demographic changes. For example, some scholars argue that tremendous population growth in cities over the past century resulted in a reduction in “primary ties” such as those between neighbors, with a corresponding increase in the prevalence of “secondary ties” such as those between co-workers or members of clubs and organizations, most of which are not located in the neighborhood. Some scholars also point to the rapid development of inexpensive and widely accessible transportation and communication options. With the advent of interstate highways, air travel, telephones, and computers, geographic proximity is no longer necessary to develop and maintain primary relationships. According to this approach, such developments have also allowed our society to become much more geographically mobile, with people frequently moving across neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries. Some argue that all of these things have led to a gradual weakening of communal bonds, to the point that people are now highly isolated, alienated, and largely unattached to their local neighborhoods. The second approach described by Wellman and Leighton is the community saved tradition. This approach argues that these same political, social, and industrial changes have actually encouraged the maintenance of local primary ties, as residents work together to develop their neighborhoods as safe havens, buffering themselves against the dramatic changes occurring in broader society. Many scholars carefully documented specific examples of such “urban villages,” where densely knit networks and solidarity among residents have successfully protected the neighborhood from outside encroachment (e.g. blocking development of new expressways and overpasses, opposing urban renewal projects or gentrification efforts that would displace current residents). From this view, the local community is not lost, but rather saved, and perhaps even stronger than before. F inally, Wellman and Leighton describe an approach they refer to as community liberated , which essentially agrees with both of the prior approaches, but with an important caveat . It agrees with the community lost argument that local neighborhoods are no longer a strong source of solidarity and communal action among residents. I t also agrees with the community saved argument that primary ties remain viable and important despite, and perhaps in reaction to, the same causal factors. The key distinction made by the community liberated perspective is that those primary ties, while highly relevant, are now rarely located within neighborhoods. Wellman and Leighton provide a rather prescient (for 1979!) discussion of how “new developments in computing technology foreshadow major increases in telecommunication capabilities such as ‘electronic mail’ and ‘computer conferencing’” (p.380). They argue that these advancements have allowed for the development of “community without propinquity.” That is, primary ties are increasingly likely to transcend neighborhood boundaries, and indeed, people can just as easily maintain close relationships across countries as they can within their neighborhoods. The development and dramatic growth of social media makes their arguments of 40 years ago all the more impressive and relevant. So where does that leave us with regard to last week’s discussion question? How should we define the concept of community? • Is community lost ? Many of you lamented the “disappearance of the neighborhood,” and “lack of relationships among neighbors,” with one student noting “as an area becomes more urbanized, the interconnections of people living in communities become more stressed and social controls are diminished.” Indeed, another student explained “you could live next door to someone you have no social ties to… [with] the only relationship being your home sits next to theirs.” • Is community saved ? Many of you noted the continuing relevance of local areas, and the persistence of solidarity among neighborhood residents despite the large-scale social, economic, and political changes occurring around them. Many of you emphasized the importance of “connections” and “commonalities” among neighbors, and the influence that local communities can have on residents, noting that “we often see the impacts that communities have on children,” and “communities can shape a person’s life.” • Is community liberated ? In discussing the importance of commonality and shared interests, many of you noted that this does not require proximity. One student stated that “some communities are based on place…[but] others are bound by their cultures and beliefs,” and others agreed that someone can simultaneously belong to many communities including “culture communities” and “religious communities,” many of which transcend all geographic boundaries. At this point, I suspect all of us can agree that each of these perspectives is correct to some extent. However, the second part of the discussion question provided a very important qualification—we want to arrive at a definition that is specifically relevant for the study of crime. In response to this qualification, the most comm on sentiment across discussion postings was that we need to consider both geographic proximity and shared interests, local ties, and connectedness. Many of you expressed this view directly with statements including “I would define community as both a geographical area and a group of individuals who are connected with common interests,” and “a good balance [includes] a defined territory, but still recognizes the individual social connections (or lack of) within the community.” Likewise, one student summed it up very well by saying “it would be useful to have both these definitions to see the physical boundaries of a neighborhood along with the information of what groups people have connections with.” As you will see throughout the remainder of this course, macro-level criminological theory and research has typically taken this balanced approach to the community question. Most of the research that we will review examines variation in social relationships, characteristics, and processes across clearly identified geographic boundaries, and assesses the extent to which these factors are associated with levels of crime within those areas. For this reason, criminologists often use the terms “neighborhood” and “community” somewhat interchangeably. It is important to recognize that there is a distinction between the terms in their broadest sense, but when studying criminological outcomes, we typically agree that (1) the distinction between the two is not as important since most of the offending and victimization that we study is geographically located, and/or (2) the question of whether people in specific geographic areas are, indeed, socially connected is directly addressed in our research project. A notable exception would be something like white-collar crime, which does not typically have a relevant geographic context. This is why scholars of neighborhoods and crime do not examine white-collar crime as an outcome. But still, how do we define community? Though we have refined our conceptual definition of community somewhat, we are still left with the question of how we will specifically define, identify, and measure communit ies . Again, if you have taken a research methods course, you probably learned that this process is referred to as “operationalization.” After arriving at a somewhat abstract conceptual definition, we need to develop an “operational definition” that clarifies precisely what will constitute a “community” in our specific research project. Unfortunately, this can be just as difficult, or even more so, than conceptualization. One challenge when operationalizing community is that there can be many different, and perhaps equally relevant, definitions. As many of you noted in your discussion postings, a s ingle person can live within a series of “nested” geographical communities ranging from a street block (“47th Street between 7 th and 8 th Ave”), to a planned residential development (“Killearn Estates”), to a region of the city (e.g. “the south side”), t o a city, county, or borough (e.g. “the Bronx”) , to a metropolitan area (e.g. “ New York -Newark-Jersey City Metr opolitan Statistical Area”). To further complicate things, if you ask two people who live directly next door to each other how they define their geographic community, they may give very different answers. Indeed, in a study by Coulton, et al. (2001), researchers presented maps to 140 residents in 7 neighborhood areas in Cleveland, OH, and asked them to draw a line around what they considered to be their neighborhood boundary. Results showed that even people who live directly adjacent to each other tend to have rather different definitions of their neighborhood boundaries. Another part of the same study involved comparing the residents’ definitions of their neighborhood boundaries with the boundaries that researchers typically use. The most commonly used geographic definition of a neighborhood in criminological research is a census tract . This is a geographical boundary developed by the U.S. Census Bureau in consultation with local area boards. They are intended to correspond with meaningful physical features of the area (e.g. roads, railroad tracks, rivers, parks, etc.) and have a target size of about 4,000 people. It is not surprising that none of the neighborhood residents that were interviewed were aware of the boundaries of the census tract that they lived in, and it follows that the residents’ neighborhood definitions did not correspond very closely with census tract boundaries. On a positive note, however, the average size of the resident definitions were very close to the average size of census tracts. Another study examined whether different operationalizations of neighborhood lead to different conclusions when examining the neighborhood characteristics that are associated with crime (Hipp 2007). Specifically, the study compared two commonly used definitions of neighborhood —census tract s and census block s . As noted above, census tracts are intended to hold about 4,000 people, while census blocks are much smaller at about 50 people per block. Results showed that the factors that appear to affect neighborhood crime at the tract level are different than the relevant factors at the block level. For example, the divorce rate of an area was associated with crime rates regardless of whether tracts or blocks were being examined, but economic characteristics were only relevant when examining blocks. This suggests that some neighborhood features have diffuse effects that operate over larger areas, while other features have a highly localized impact. While these two studies clearly suggest that we should be very cautious in how we operationalize neighborhoods, the reality is that we rarely have data precise enough to map on to such small areas as census blocks, nor that we can use to generate a neighborhood unit s specific to each individual’s personal definition of neighborhood. By far, the most common small geographic unit for which we can obtain data is the census tract. In one sense, this makes our process of operationalization easier since we usually have just one option. However, the research described above, combined with many similar studies, strongly suggest s that researchers must be aware of the limitations of these data, and we must always be clear and honest about the implications of these limitations for our findings and conclusions. This is something that you should always keep in mind as you evaluate the research findings throughout this course, and throughout your criminological studies. Some background for this week’s readings Now, moving on to this week…. This week, we start a unit of the course that will introduce you to the major theoretical perspectives in criminology that deal with communities and crime. This week’s readings are on ‘social disorganization theory,’ which you have probably heard about in other courses since it is a foundational theory in criminology. Subsequent weeks will deal with other theories. For example, next week’s readings will introduce some key extensions and expansions of social disorganization theory, including the concepts of collective efficacy and informal social control. In the week following that, we will read articles devoted to the theory of differential association, and finally (after taking Exam #1), we will cover a couple of alternative theoretical explanations that are perhaps less popular, but still important for understanding why crime is higher in some communities than others. However, before we start discussing specific theories, it is important to understand the broad distinction between micro-level, macro-level, and multi-level approaches, which is what I address in the remainder of these notes. Micro-level approaches to crime tend to deal solely with individuals, or sometimes families. They are typically interested in the question of why some people are more likely to engage in crime or delinquency than others, and they typically point to specific characteristics of individuals to explain this variation. For example, Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) widely studied ‘general theory of crime’ argues that children with low self-control are more likely to engage in a wide range of delinquent, criminal, and analogous behaviors. They believe that people who are high in self-control are better able to resist criminal impulses, while those with lower levels of self-control are more likely to give in to the temptation and immediate gratification associated with crime and deviance. Moreover, they claim that the primary source of self-control in children is effective parenting. The important thing to note here is that all of the key concepts of this theory— effective parenting , which increases self-control in children, which leads to lower levels of criminal behavior —are characteristics of individuals. On the other hand, purely macro-level approaches deal with larger units of analysis such as neighborhoods, cities, states, or entire nations. The theory that we are reading about this week— social disorganization theory—is a good example. As we will see, the original formulation of the theory by Shaw and McKay (1942) attempts to explain not why some people are more likely to engage in crime, but rather why some neighborhoods have higher crime rates. Now, you might be thinking that in order for a neighborhood to have a high crime rate, many individuals must have committed crimes there. However, the explanation provided by social disorganization theory, as well as other macro-level theories, involves solely the characteristics of places, such as the poverty rate, urban/suburban/rural, the percentage of renters vs. owners in an area, or how much residential turnover there is in a neighborhood. Finally, there is a relatively small but growing number of theoretical explanations that are considered to be multi-level . That is, they incorporate both the characteristics of individuals and characteristics of the broader contexts that those individuals exist within. The specific context that this course focuses on is the community or neighborhood. However, there are many other interesting contexts that could influence criminal or delinquent behavior, such as schools, workplaces, and cities. We will occasionally encounter multi-level explanations throughout this course. For example, some researchers combine the concepts of self-control (a micro-level theory) and social disorganization (a macro-level theory) to explain variation in involvement in crime and delinquency. These researchers argue that it is more difficult for effective parents to instill self-control in their children (micro) when they live in disorganized neighborhoods (macro). Multi-level theories can often be the most appealing, but they are usually the most difficult to test since they require us to collect information about people as well as the places where they live, work, and play. As you work through the readings this week, and in subsequent weeks, be sure to keep in mind this distinction between micro-level, macro-level, and multi-level theory and research. Consider which type of argument the authors are making, and whether it is the appropriate level for their propositions and hypotheses. Could the same arguments be applied at one of the other levels? Would it be better to develop the theory as a multi-level explanation? Can all macro-level theories be boiled down to micro-level causes and effects? Happy reading and h ave a great week! Cited studies Coulton, Claudia J., Jill Korbin, Tsui Chan, and Marilyn Su. 2001. “Mapping Residents’ Perceptions of Neighborhood Boundaries: A Methodological Note.” American Journal of Community Psychology 29:371-383. Hipp, John R. 2007. “Block, Tract, and Levels of Aggregation: Neighborhood Structure and Crime and Disorder as a Case in Point .” American Sociological Review 72:659-680. Wellman, Barry, and Barry Leighton. 1979. “Networks, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Approaches to the Study of the Community Question”. Urban Affairs Quarterly 14: 363- 390.
You must answer two of the following questions. The content of the questions may overlap somewhat, but your answers should not have much overlap with each other. Your completed exam must be submitted
219 Introduction Criminal or delinquent subcultures symbolize certain groups in society that have norms, values, or attitudes that are conducive to deviance, crime, and/or violence. Dating back to the works of the Chicago School in the early- and mid-twentieth century, the study of criminal and delinquent subcultures has long been of interest to sociologists and criminologists (Thrasher, 1927/1936; Cohen, 1955; Miller, 1958;). More recently, Elijah Anderson’s (1994 , 1999) code of the street thesis on criminal values, and violent attitudes in particular, has led to a renewed interest in understanding subcultures of violence. The purpose of this chap – ter is to provide an overview of the empirical work that focuses on the causes and consequences of street code attitudes. The chapter is divided into five main sections: (1) a brief history of criminal and delinquent subcultures, (2) an overview of the street code, how different family structures embrace this value system, and the characteristics of the code, (3) research on the causes of street code attitudes, (4) research on the consequences of those who embrace the code, and (5) a conclusion summarizing the street code research and providing suggestions for future avenues of inquiry. A brief history of criminal and delinquent subcultures Perhaps one of the earliest and well-known academic works on delinquent subcultures is Frederic Milton Thrasher’s (1927/1936 ) The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago . Based on research conducted for his Ph.D. dissertation, Thrasher shed light on various subgroups of gangs, with one being a criminal gang involved in delinquent and criminal behavior. In his pivotal work on gang behavior, Thrasher discussed themes consistent to criminal subcultures such as codes of conduct that are reflective among individual groups, rules governing deviant behavior such as fighting, and mechanisms of control through the use of punishment. Other foundational work on subcultures contend that criminal/delinquent activity is a product of social class and/or lack of economic opportunities. Indeed, Walter Miller (1958) wrote about class culture among lower-class boys. According to Miller, young males learn and embrace the wider cultural traditions and values found among their social class. He identified and described six values known as “focal concerns.” These values include fate, autonomy, toughness, trouble, excitement, and smartness. Fate (or fatalism) refers to individuals refusing to consider the consequences of their actions because they believe their future is 18 The code of the street Causes and consequences Jonathan Intravia Jonathan Intravia 220 already determined. Autonomy deals with being independent from others and authority figures and deal- ing with issues personally. Toughness is concerned with masculinity and being able to face physical threats. Trouble represents causing problems. Excitement refers to thrill-seeking behavior. Smartness involves using verbal and psychological skills and abilities to outcon or outwit others. It is important to note that these focal concerns are not the direct cause of criminal behavior; however, embracing these values may result in some individuals committing criminal and deviant acts.Some scholars, for example, believed that criminal behavior from delinquent subcultures was due to a reaction against middle-class values. For instance, Albert Cohen (1955) argued that lower-class boys often had poor educational success, which resulted in a low status attainment as defined by mainstream values and norms. As a result, delinquent subcultures formed (e.g., gangs) as a response to the “status frustration” experienced by lower-class youth. Crime and deviant acts, such as fighting and vandalism, became ways by which disadvantaged youths can achieve status within their own groups. Similarly, Cloward and Ohlin (1960) also believed that criminal subcultures were an adaptation to discontent experienced by those resid – ing in urban lower-class environments. Specifically, based on the amount of neighborhood cohesiveness and illegitimate opportunities available, there are three distinct subcultures/gangs that young people can join: criminal, conflict, and retreatist. Criminal subcultures develop in more cohesive neighborhoods that contain adult criminals to teach and train youth to be involved in activities that generate income such as theft and robbery. Conflict subcultures form in communities with less opportunities present (either legiti – mate or illegitimate) and consists of youth looking to achieve alternative forms of success, such as respect, through violence. Lastly, retreatist subcultures are considered “double failures” because they cannot be successful legitimately or illegitimately. These youth are likely to be involved in drugs and hustling to gain approval. Another classic formulation in criminal subcultures is found in Marvin Wolfgang and Franco Fer- racuti’s (1967) Subculture of Violence. Their theory differs from those noted prior because they placed less attention on social class or economic opportunities as an explanation in producing criminal subcultures; rather, the authors emphasized the importance of understanding a culture of values and norms that favor violent behavior found among specific groups. Grounding their theory from homicide statistics from Philadelphia’s impoverished minority communities, Wolfgang and Ferracuti argued that violence was not evenly distributed within society. Specifically, among some groups, violence is vital for protection and survival. Thus, differing from mainstream culture, a subculture of violence that emphasizes the justification and use of physical force or violence is established and passed down from one generation to the next. In short, theories on delinquent subcultures paved the way for understanding criminal and violent activity primarily among lower-class males. Yet, like many early theoretical explanations for crime and delinquency, researchers lost interest in subcultural theories as new theoretical explanations for the etiol – ogy of criminal behavior were developing. In the 1990s, however, Elijah Anderson’s (1994, 1999) code of the street thesis renewed interest in understanding crime and violence through the lens of the subcultural perspective. The street code Elijah Anderson’s (1994, 1999) “code of the street” intersects both social class structure and culture in understanding violence in predominately inner-city, African American neighborhoods. Motivated by why individuals, and particularly young people, residing in economically poor environments resort to violence against one another, Anderson’s ethnographic field research in Philadelphia shed light on this very impor – tant issue. According to Anderson (1999, p. 33), the street code is “a set of informal rules governing inter – personal public behavior, particularly violence.” The street code is a cultural orientation that exists because residents in the most disadvantaged segments in society are less inclined to rely on agents of social control, The code of the street221 such as the police and judicial system, for assistance. 1 As a result, violence is an approved mechanism for governing interpersonal behavior in the inner-city environment outlined by Anderson. Family orientations In communities where the street code orientation permeates, there are two types of family structures, “decent” and “street,” that interact and reside in the same neighborhood – and may also coexist in the same family (Anderson, 1994). Although the majority of decent and street families encounter the same financial struggles, they have contrasting moral values. Decent families are committed to middle-class standards by valuing hard work, religion, education, and perseverance. Further, parents (and oftentimes only single mothers) of decent households are more likely to instill mainstream values into their children by employ – ing firm child-rearing practices, teaching them manners, to respect people of authority, and to have moral standards of behavior ( Anderson, 1999, p. 39). Yet, at the same time, decent parents are well aware of the violent street culture that permeates their community and stress that their children understand the code as well, even if that means using violence to defend themselves. Street families, in contrast, are less considerate of others and have a narrow insight of family and com – munity. In addition, street families may have more difficulty coping with parenthood and living in financial deprivation, which creates frustration and a lack of patience toward others. These individuals are more likely to embrace the street code and encourage their children to adopt the violent values that are associated with it. Street mothers are often substance users/addicts and involved in abusive relationships. According to Anderson (1999, p. 46), decent people often characterize street individuals as lowlife or bad people. Although most residents are considered to be decent people, children are exposed to the street code early and often in social settings (e.g., school). Because the reality of the street code permeates the environ – ment, decent children must learn how to “code switch,” or have the ability to adhere to the rules of the street code when situations require it. Although it is important for decent kids to have the skill to code switch, some decent children may neglect the lessons and values taught by their parents and embrace the values of the code, including aggression and violence, on a regular basis. Thus, children raised in a decent household does not guarantee that they will end up decent themselves. Characteristics of the street code There are several interrelated characteristics that embody the street code belief system: respect, reputation, violence, and victimization. Respect is the foundation or core of the street code. As stated by Anderson (1999, p. 66), “In the inner-city environment respect on the street may be viewed as a form of social capital that is very valuable.” Individuals regularly campaign for respect in order to enhance their reputation amongst their peers. Respect is often gained or earned through violent acts – whether it be initiating violence toward others or seeking revenge for wrongdoings. However, respect can also be acquired through non – violent means such as having a strong presentation (e.g., dressing nice, wearing expensive clothing, having flashy jewelry), being talented in sports or school, having money through drug dealing, and taking owner – ship of somebody’s sense of honor or even their girlfriend. Those who hold the most respect, or “juice,” in the streets are believed to have a lower likelihood of being messed with or dissed. Therefore, respect leads to a reputation that is considered a form of self-protection against victimization. Collectively, the characteristics noted here are all important ingredients that distinguish the street code as a violent subculture. The street code is not just a set of attitudes or actions conducive to violence, but a deeply embedded cultural belief system resulting from decades of isolation, deprivation, and racial dis- crimination. In many ways, this belief system uses violence to combat violence in the inner cit y because the police are believed to be inept or unresponsive in their efforts to protect residents from dangers that permeate the inner-city environment. Jonathan Intravia 222 Research on the causes of street code attitudes 2 The themes discussed in Anderson’s (1999) Code of the Street have resulted in a growing body of research examining the factors associated with adopting street code beliefs and attitudes. Looking at the prior work from a broader standpoint, it is possible to categorize these assessments by three separate but interrelated predictors of street code attitudes: individual and family factors, contextual factors, and theoretical factors. Individual and family factors As noted earlier, Anderson’s (1994, 1999) street code thesis focused primarily on inner-city, African Amer – ican residents. As such, research on individual level predictors of street code attitudes has explored demo- graphics consistent with the individuals highlighted in Anderson’s work in order to understand how these characteristics influence one’s likelihood of embracing the street code. Many studies, however, have limited samples that focus on African Americans, younger individuals, and/or males ( Brezina, Agnew, Cullen, & Wright, 2004; Stewart & Simons, 2006; Intravia, Wolff, Stewart, & Simons, 2014 ; Moule, Burt, Stewart, & Simons, 2015). Although these studies may examine samples that are consistent with the specific demo – graphics outlined by Anderson, it is more difficult to assess which demographic groups, if any, are most likely to adopt the street code belief system. On the other hand, assessments that use more diverse samples of race/ethnicity or gender often dummy code for these characteristics, with “African American” and “male” being the reference groups, respectively. With few exceptions (Intravia, Wolff, Gibbs, & Piquero, 2017; Intravia et al., 2018; McNeeley, Meldrum, & Hoskin, 2018), studies that control for race (e.g., Afri – can American) either provide no support (Brezina et al., 2004; Keith & Griffiths, 2014) or show that the significance of race is eliminated once other factors are controlled for in the analysis ( Piquero et al., 2012). Similar patterns are also evident among males adopting street code attitudes, with some studies showing that male is an important predictor ( Piquero et al., 2012; Keith & Griffiths, 2014 ; Intravia et al., 2018 ; McNeeley et al., 2018 ) and others showing there is no significance ( Stewart & Simons, 2006; Intravia et al., 2014, 2017). Yet, when comparing street code attitudes across various groups of race/ethnicity and gender, Taylor, Esbensen, Brick, and Freng (2010) found African American and male youths have higher levels of acceptance of street code-related violence compared to all other race/ethnicities examined (Whites, His – panics, American Indian, Asian, other, and multiracial) and females, respectively. Anderson (1999) also notes the street code belief system is a cultural orientation that is a result of expe – riencing discrimination and lack of assistance from the police. Research shows that police satisfaction is not related to acquiring street code attitudes ( Intravia et al., 2017, 2018); however, those who have less respect for – or have negative attitudes toward – the police are more likely to hold street code attitudes ( Piquero et al., 2012; Keith & Griffiths, 2014). Regarding discrimination, studies support Anderson’s notion that measures of racial discrimination is a key cause of adopting street code beliefs ( Stewart & Simons, 2006; Moule et al., 2015). Further, a multilevel assessment focusing on racial discrimination from police person – nel found that African Americans who perceived greater discrimination from the police were more likely to adopt street code beliefs, and this relationship was more pronounced in neighborhoods characterized by higher levels of violence (Intravia et al., 2014). Studies have also examined or controlled for family- and parenting-related factors that may predict endorsement of street code values. As discussed earlier, Anderson (1999) contends that two types of family orientations (e.g., street and decent), with contrasting parenting techniques, coexist in the same neighbor – hoods. Perhaps the most detailed examination on family/parenting characteristics is found in Stewart and Simons (2006) multisite assessment of African American youths. The authors characterized “street” fami – lies as having inconsistent and harsh discipline, violence, verbal abuse, and child neglect and characterized “decent” families as having consistent discipline, positive reinforcement, child monitoring, and warmth/ support. In their study, the authors found that being in a street family structure was positively related to The code of the street223 adopting street code beliefs, whereas being in a decent family structure yielded no significant effect. Other studies that controlled for characteristics such as family structure (e.g., one versus two parent household), family socioeconomic status, parental supervision, and parental discipline have found little to no support that family and parenting factors are related to adopting the street code ( Brezina et al., 2004; Keith & Grif- fiths, 2014; Moule et al., 2015). Contextual factors Anderson (1994, 1999) argues that the code of the street is a cultural orientation that is found in disad- vantaged, urban locales that consist of primarily African American residents. Owing to the types of com – munities that are believed to be permeated with the violent belief system, studies have examined whether community context is an important factor in establishing the street code. When comparing the racial/ ethnic composition of neighborhoods, communities characterized by a higher concentration of African Americans and Hispanic residents tend to be more code-oriented ( Matsueda et al., 2006). Furthermore, research illustrates that neighborhoods characterized by disadvantage and/or violence are also strong pre – dictors of the street code ( Matsueda et al., 2006; Stewart & Simons, 2006; Intravia et al., 2014). However, there is less agreement about whether street code attitudes are a product of only urban environments. Although Taylor and colleagues (2010) found that the street code belief system is more pronounced in urban-dense areas (compared to other settings), other studies that control for urban locales show that urbanicity is not associated with adopting the street code ( Brezina et al., 2004; Stewart & Simons, 2006 ). In fact, a more comprehensive assessment examining the generalizability of street code attitudes across differ – ent settings found that youths residing in highly urban areas were just as likely as youths living in suburban and rural communities to endorse the street code belief system, suggesting that densely population settings may not be a key cause of adopting the street code (Keith & Griffiths, 2014). Theoretical factors Scholarship has noted that many themes discussed in the Code of the Street are similar to other theoretical perspectives in criminology and sociology. Although Anderson (1994, 1999) does not explicitly refer to other theories in his explanation on why the street code belief system is widespread in disadvantaged com – munities, a number of the arguments embedded in the code of the street thesis show similarities among other crime-related theories. Due to these parallels between street code attitudes and other frameworks, research has examined whether strain, social learning, and self-control theories are important predictors in adopting the street code belief system. For instance, studies illustrate that measures consistent with strain theory (e.g., failure to achieve positively valued stimuli, presentation of noxious stimuli, removal of posi- tively value stimuli) predict adherence to the street code ( Stewart & Simons, 2006; Intravia et al., 2014, 2017; for lack of support, see Brezina et al., 2004). However, measures consistent with social learning theory, such as associating with delinquent/violent peers, tend to show mixed support as being a key pre- dictor of the street code (for support, see Brezina et al., 2004; Stewart & Simons, 2006; for lack of support, see Moule et al., 2015; Intravia et al., 2017). Perhaps the theoretical perspective that has received the most attention in predicting adoption of street code attitudes is self-control theory. This is not surprising given that low self-control has been shown to be a significant predictor of crime, analogous acts, and victimization ( Pratt & Cullen, 2000; Pratt, Turanovic, Fox, & Wright, 2014 ) – characteristics consistent with the street code. Despite the variations in how self- control is operationalized, research shows that individuals with low self-control are more likely to adopt code-related beliefs (Piquero et al., 2012; Moule et al., 2015; Intravia et al., 2018). In a more comprehen- sive assessment on the self-control and street code relationship, McNeeley and colleagues (2018) utilized various indicators of low self-control from two popular indices, the Grasmick, Tittle, Bursik Jr, & Arneklev Jonathan Intravia 224 (1993) and Tangney et al. (2004) scales, to determine the consistency of prior findings. In their assessment, the authors found that regardless of what self-control scale was utilized to predict adoption of the code, low self-control was found to have moderate to high variability in explaining street code attitudes. Assessing the causes of street code attitudes Certain factors are more salient in predicting street code attitudes than others. Looking at demographic characteristics, there is mixed evidence that African Americans and males are more likely to adopt the street code belief system compared to other races/ethnicities and females, respectively. Although a handful of studies explicitly examined the street code thesis consistent with Anderson’s field research on mostly African American youth, studies that utilized different sampling frames (e.g., general samples, young adults, homeless youth, etc.) illustrate that the code of the street, or at least attitudes consistent with the violent street code, are not the product of certain demographics such as race/ethnicity and gender. It is important to note that age was not directly assessed as a predictor because the vast majority of studies consisted of samples that were relatively young in age.Factors that tend to show the most consistent support on adopting street code attitudes include holding negative attitudes toward the police, communities characterized by disadvantage and/or violence, expe – riencing strain, and low self-control. In contrast, family and parenting-related factors, associating with delinquent/violent peers, and living in an urban environment tend to show mixed to little support as key predictors in the street code belief system. Research on the consequences of street code attitudes Studies on the street code have also explored several hypotheses related to the consequences of those who embrace the code of the street belief system. As noted by Anderson (1994, 1999), individuals who hold street code attitudes are more prone to committing violence in order to build respect, which is believed to be a protective shield from victimization. As such, two of the most widely tested outcomes examined with the street code include violent offending and victimization. In addition, mor e recent assessments have begun to explore a number of additional outcomes that the street code-related attitudes may predict. Thus, the research associated with the consequences of the street code attitudes will be discussed by addressing the following themes: violence, victimization, and nonviolent crime and other relevant outcomes. Violence Collectively, research illustrates that individuals who hold values consistent with the street code belief system are more likely to engage in violence ( Stewart et al., 2002; Stewart & Simons, 2006; Matsuda, Melde, Tay- lor, Freng, & Esbensen, 2013 ; Mears, Stewart, Siennick, & Simons, 2013 ; Baron, 2017; Intravia et al., 2018 ; Erickson, Hochstetler, & Dorius, 2019 ); and street code attitudes partially mediate important predictors of violence such as neighborhood violence, neighborhood disadvantage, family characteristics, and racial discrimination (Stewart & Simons, 2006). At the community level, studies also show that neighborhood street culture is an important predictor of violence. That is, neighborhoods that are more entrenched with the code of the street culture predict youth violence, independent of individual-level street code attitude – and the effects of individual-level street code values on violence is more pronounced in neighborhoods that embrace the street code ( Stewart & Simons, 2010). It is important to note that street code attitudes are not the sole or key cause of violence. Although such attitudes show strong predictive power in explaining violent acts, the street code’s relationship with violence may be best understood with the consideration of other factors related to violence. The importance of moderators, or other variables that may strengthen the relationship between street code attitudes and violence, was detailed in Baron’s (2017) assessment of The code of the street225 homeless youth. In his study, the author found that anger, not fearful of being a victim, history of physical abuse, negative attitudes toward the police, lack of parental warmth, and length of homelessness (i.e., pov – erty) are all salient factors that strengthen the relationship between the street code and violence relationship. Victimization According to Anderson (1999, p. 76), the code of the street is a belief system built on respect through violent and nonviolent acts. Having a valuable reputation for violence is a form of self-protection believed to deter an individual from being a victim of a violent crime. Although those who embrace the street code are believed to be victimized less, research in this domain has failed to show support that street code attitudes safeguard against victimization. In fact, those who embrace the street code belief system have a higher likelihood of being assaulted ( Stewart et al., 2006). In addition, Stewart and colleagues (2006) found that neighborhood violence moderated the positive effect between street code attitudes and victimization. Specifically, those who more fully embraced the street code and resided in a neighborhood characterized by high levels of violence had higher probabilities of being a victim of a violent crime compared to those who did not fully embrace the code or did not embrace it at all (see al so, Berg et al., 2012). As stated by the authors “the code of the street operates less as a protective factor . . . and more as a risk factor for vic – timization” (Stewart et al., 2006, p. 443). Additional evidence shows that embracing the street code belief system predicts victimization beyond violence. In fact, those who hold street code attitudes are not only susceptible to being victims of assault, but are also more likely to be victims of property crime ( McNeeley & Wilcox, 2015a). Furthermore, the street code and victimization relationship may differ based on one’s lifestyle choices. For example, research illustrates individuals who embrace the code are more likely to be violently victimized if they spend more time in public settings than those who engage in less public activities outside of their home ( McNeeley & Wilcox, 2015b). Nonviolent crimes and other outcomes Studies have examined whether street code attitudes can predict criminal (and noncriminal) behavior beyond acts of violence. Overall, there is mixed support on whether street code attitudes predict nonvio- lent and/or noncriminal behaviors. While some evidence points to the street code predicting property crime and various types of criminality measured in an index ( Intravia et al., 2017, 2018), there is also evidence that street code attitudes do not predict drug use, theft, tax evasion, driving under the influ – ence, and school misbehavior ( Intravia et al., 2017, 2018; Piquero et al., 2012 ). The mixed findings on nonviolent crimes can be because, in part, street code attitudes may be limited in explaining many crimes outside of violence. In the past few years, a number of assessments have been made to explore additional consequences related to street code attitudes beyond crime and victimization. This limited but promising body of work has linked those who embrace the street code belief system to an increased likelihood of being arrested and convicted (Mears, Stewart, Warren, & Simons, 2017), an increased level of fear of crime ( McNee- ley & Yuan, 2017), and having a lower probability of reporting crimes to the police ( Kwak, Dierenfeldt, & McNeeley, 2019); however, the relationship between street code adherence and crime reporting was sig – nificant for only African American respondents. Assessing the consequences of street code attitudes When it comes to assessing the consequences of those who embrace the str eet code, clearer patterns are present. Violence is a key consequence of street code attitudes. That is, research supports the notion that Jonathan Intravia 226 those who adhere to the code of the street are significantly more likely to engage in violent-related behav- ior, consistent with Anderson’s (1999) thesis. Further, being a victim is another consequence of embracing the street code belief system. Although empirical research illustrates a pattern opposite to Anderson’s (1994, 1999) assertions on the code of the street serving as a buffer against victimization, those who hold attitudes conducive to the street code have a higher likelihood of being a crime victim. Yet, when it comes to engag – ing in crimes outside of violence, there is little support to show that street code attitudes are important predictors of such nonviolent acts. Conclusion The goal of this chapter was to not only provide a brief account of subcultural theories in criminology/ sociology, but to introduce readers to an increasing popular subcultural perspective in social science, Elijah Anderson’s (1999) Code of the Street thesis, by discussing the key characteristics of the street code and evalu – ating the current state of empirical evidence of the street code. This was accomplished by dividing extant research in two separate, but interrelated ways: (1) research testing the causes of street code attitudes and (2) research testing the consequences of those who embrace such attitudes. Overall, findings indicate that there are a number of factors that contribute to one’s likelihood of adopting street code attitudes, such as negative police encounters, experiencing strain, having low self-control, and living in an adverse environment. As for the consequences of individuals embracing the street code belief system, research shows strong support that street code attitudes predict not only acts of violence but also being victims of such crimes. Given the dearth of research devoted to the causes and consequences of street code attitudes, it is impor – tant that scholars continue to examine additional causes and consequences of the street code. As previous studies have advocated, future efforts should be directed toward multilevel assessments, moderation factors, mediation, and a broader level of theoretical correlates ( Brezina et al., 2004; Piquero et al., 2012; Baron, 2017). Further, it is recommended that research focus on additional themes that are discussed widely in Anderson’s thesis such as the concept of “code-switching,” self-presentation (e.g., respect, status), decent versus street family structures, alienation/deprivation, fate, and nonviolent means to gain and earn respect amongst ones’ peers. Acknowledgments The author would like to give special thanks to Kevin Wolff for helpful comments and feedback on earlier drafts. Notes 1 It is important to note that a host of research has shown that minority residents in disadvantaged settings often have strained relationships with law enforcement personnel due to experiencing negative interactions with the police (see, e.g., Brunson, 2007; Carr, Napolitano, & Keating, 2007; Stewart, Baumer, Brunson, & Simons, 2009; Weitzer, 1999). 2 The review of the literature is germane to research that explicitly focuses on testing hypotheses from Anderson’s (1999) code of the street thesis (i.e., causes of street code attitudes; consequences of street code attitudes). Thus, empirical investigations on broader (sub)cultural contexts such as street culture, street criminality, or street gangs that do not directly examine predictors of street code values are not discussed in this chapter. References Anderson, E. (1994). The code of the streets. 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Why do some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others? What is it about certain communities that consistently generate high crime rates? These are the central questions of interest for social disorganization theory, a macro‐level perspective concerned with explaining the spatial distribution of crime across areas. Social disorganization theory has emerged as the critical framework for understanding the relationship between community characteristics and crime in urban areas. According to the theory, certain neighborhood characteristics – most notably poverty, residential instability, and racial heterogeneity – can lead to social disorganization. Social disorganization, in turn, can cause crime. In this chapter, we first describe social disorganization theory, laying out the theory’s key principles and propositions. We then discuss one of the most serious and enduring challenges confronting the theory – identifying and empirically verifying the social interactional mechanisms that link structural characteristics of communities, such as poverty and residential instability, to heightened crime rates in socially disorganized communities. And finally, we present some promising new directions for the theory by discussing several theoretical concepts that may be useful for scholars interested in identifying and measuring the theory’s interactional mechanisms; these include social capital, collective efficacy, and social networks. We conclude the chapter with some remarks about one additional important theoretical direction for social disorganization theory: incorporating the role of neighborhood subculture in explanations of crime and delinquency. Social Disorganization Theory’s Greatest Challenge: Linking Structural Characteristics to Crime in Socially Disorganized Communities Charis E. Kubrin and James C. Wo 7 The Handbook of Criminological Theory, Fir 251 2016 J 122 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo Social Disorganization Theory The origins of social disorganization theory date back to the early 1900s. In 1929, two researchers from the University of Chicago, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay, began a series of studies using official records which showed that in the city of Chicago, rates of delinquency, criminality, and commitment to correc tional institutions varied markedly by area. In particular, rates were highest in slums near the city center and diminished as distance from the center of the city increased, except in areas of industry and commerce just outside of the central district, which had some of the highest rates. Shaw and McKay also found that rates of crime and delinquency exhibited a remarkable consistent patterning over many decades; in particular, the spatial pattern of rates revealed significant long‐term stability even though the nationality structure of the population in the inner‐city areas changed greatly over time. Shaw and McKay thus d eter mined that crime and delinquency were not the result of personal characteristics of the residents who lived in the neighborhoods but were tied to the neighborhoods themselves. Since areas of high and low crime and delinquency maintained their relative positions over many years, a key theoretical task became to explain the existence and stability of these area differentials over time. A fundamental part of their explanation involved the concept of social d is organization. Social disorganization refers to the inability of a community to realize the common values of its members and maintain effective social c on trols. As Kornhauser describes, “Social disorganization exists in the first instance when the structure and culture of a community are i nc apable of implementing and expressing the values of its own residents.” (Kornhauser, 1978:63) According to the theory, a common value among neighborhood residents is the desire for a crime‐free community. In essence, then, socially disorganized neighborhoods are ineffective in combating crime. A socially organized community is characterized by (1) solidarity, or an internal consensus on essential norms and values (e.g., residents want and value the same things, such as a crime‐free neighborhood); (2) cohesion, or a strong bond among neighbors (e.g., residents know and like one another); and (3) integration, with social interaction occurring on a regular basis (e.g., residen ts spend time with one another). Conversely, a disorganized community has little solidarity among residents and lacks social cohesion or integration. Perhaps the greatest difference between socially organized and disorganized neighborhoods is the levels of informal social control in those neighborhoods. Informal social control is defined as the scope of collective intervention that the community directs toward local problems, including crime (Kornhauser, 1978; Shaw & McKay, 1969). It is the informal, nonofficial actions taken by residen ts to combat crime in their communities, such as, for example, when residents question persons about suspicious activity or admonish misbehaving youth and inform parents of their children’s misconduct. In essence, residents act as the “eyes and ears” of the community and their informal surveillance, and Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 123 ev en simple presence, deters others from engaging in crime. According to the theory, socially disorganized neighborhoods have lower levels of informal social control, and thus experience higher crime rates when compared to more socially organized neighborhoods. Ecological characteristics of neighborhoods influence the degree of social disorganization in the community. This is because certain characteristics can impede the development of social ties that promote the ability to solve common problems, including crime. Ecological characteristics of greatest interest to social disorganization researchers include poverty, joblessness, population mobility or turnover, racial composition, and family disruption, among others. Although community characteristics such as poverty or residential instability are related to crime, these factors themselves do not directly cause crime, according to the theory. That is, ecological characteristics are related to crime only indirectly through various neighborhood processes such as informal social control. As such, poverty, residential instability, and other ecological character istics are important in as much as they affect the mediating processes of social disorganization. In light of the above discussion, the basic social disorganization causal model can be expressed as: neighborhood characteristics → social ties → informal social control → crime. Sampson describes the processes by which neighbor hood characteristics and crime are associated: Neighborhood characteristics such as family disorganization, residential mobility, and structural density weaken informal social control networks; informal social controls are impeded by weak local social bonds, lowered community attachment, anonymity, and reduced capacity for surveillance and guardianship; other factors such as poverty and racial composition also probably affect informal control, although their influence is in all likelihood indirect; residents in areas ch aracterized by family disorganization, mobility, and building density are less able to perform guardianship activities, less likely to report general deviance to authorities, to intervene in public disturbances, and to assume responsibility for supervision of youth activities; the result is that deviance is tolerated and public norms of social control are not effective (Sampson, 1987: 109). Social Disorganization Theory’s Greatest Challenge Like all other theories discussed in this volume, there are ongoing challenges facing social disorganization theory, some of which have been resolved more fully than others. These challenges have been discussed at length in two important assess ments of the theory at different points in time: Bursik (1988) and Kubrin & Weitzer (2003). Although these scholars identify several c ha llenges, perhaps the greatest involves identifying and measuring the social mechanisms that account for height ened crime rates in socially disorganized neighborhoods. Stated alternatively, a major conceptual limitation of social disorganization research is the relative lack of 124 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo attention paid to the processes that mediate the effect of community characteristics (see also Byrne & Sampson, 1986). Given the primitive nature of data analysis during the early 1900s, it is not surprising that scholars were unable to conduct sophisticated analyses that would allow them to fully test social disorganization theory’s arguments. Early Chicago school theorists “tested” the theory by plotting the spatial distribution of crime in the city to determine whether it was consistent with the theory’s predictions, and then correlated characteristics of neighborhoods with crime rates. Studies were able to document, for example, that poor, mobile, and racially heterogeneous neighborhoods had the highest crime rates but they could not specify the mechanisms (e.g., social ties, informal social control) accounting for this relationship. This was problematic, in part, because it did not allow researchers to rule out competing theoretical explanations such as strain, which also theorize a poverty–crime association. Even decades after the early work of Chicago School researchers, little progress had been made in this area. Studies included the “front end” of social disorganiza tion models, that is, attributes of the community, as well as the “back end” or crime and delinquency outcomes, but continued to leave out the crucial middle, or i ndic ators reflecting how much social disorganization is occurring in a neighbor hood (Kubrin, Stucky, & Krohn, 2009: 91). Significant progress was finally achieved with the publication of Robert Sampson and Byron Groves’ 1989 study, which used data from a large national survey of Great Britain to formally test social disorganiza tion theory. Sampson & Groves (1989) constructed community‐level measures of neighborhoods (e.g., low socio‐economic status, ethnic heterogeneity, residential mobility, family d isr uption, and urbanization) as well as the mediating dimensions of social dis organization (e.g., sparse local friendship networks, unsupervised teen age peer groups, and low organizational participation) and determined how both sets of measures impacted neighborhood crime rates. The findings were largely sup portive of social disorganization theory: communities characterized by strong social ties and informal control had lower rates of crime and delinquency. Moreover, these dimensions of social disorganization were found to explain, in large part, the effects of community structural characteristics on crime rates. This latter finding was important because it verified for the first time that the structural conditions them selves do not influence crime; rather, they are important only inasmuch as they pro duce social disorganization. Despite this progress, only a handful of studies (e.g., Elliott et al ., 1996; Sampson & Groves, 1989; Warner & Rountree, 1997) have fully documented the theoretical processes laid out by social disorganization theory. Perhaps more importantly, the findings we do have from this small but critical literature suggest these processes may not be so straightforward. An increasing finding emerging from the literature is that social ties may not play the expected role (see Kubrin & Weitzer, 2003: 375–379). As such, researchers are only beginning to fully identify, understand, and empirically verify the social‐ i nt eractional mechanisms that link structural characteristics to crime in Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 125 ne ighborhoods. In an attempt to address this shortcoming, in part, in the remainder of the chapter we discuss some promising theoretical developments for social disorganization theory. Promising Theoretical Developments For decades following the early Chicago School studies, research testing social d is organization theory, by and large, emphasized the critical role of two t he oretical constructs: social ties and informal social control, as discussed e ar lier. In more recent years, however, scholars have begun to introduce a ddit ional theoretical c on cepts that borrow from – but go well beyond – social ties and informal social control. These include collective efficacy, social capital, and social networks. For the remainder of this chapter, we discuss these p ro mising new theoretical directions in social disorganization theory. Collective efficacy As noted earlier, Sampson and Groves (1989) incited renewed interest in social d is organization theory and its ability to explain variations in community crime rates. Recall their argument emphasized the formation and utility of social ties in terms of providing effective social action (i.e., informal social control) to fight crime. In recent years, scholars have begun to suggest that perhaps dense social networks of strong ties might not be sufficient, in and of themselves, to fulfill social control functions (Browning et al ., 2004; Kubrin & Weitzer, 2003; Pattillo, 1998; Sampson, 2006, Sampson et al ., 1997, Venkatesh, 2000, 2006). According to some, what appears to be missing is the key factor of purposive action, that is, just how ties are activated and resources mobilized to enhance informal social control (Sampson et al ., 1997). Sampson, Raudenbush, & Earls (1997) address this deficiency in their f or mulation of the concept of collective efficacy, which they define as, “the linkage of mutual trust and the willingness to intervene for the common good” (921). As is evident from the definition, collective efficacy integrates cohesion and mutual trust among residents with a culturally‐derived neighborhood dynamic (i.e., shared expectations for control). The concept advances previous theorizing by taking into account mech anisms of social action that may be facilitated by, but do not necessarily require, an interconnected network of strong ties (Sampson, 2006: 152). Since “efficacy” refers to the ability to achieve a desired effect or outcome, in the context of the theory, collective efficacy is best conceptualized as a task‐specific concept that captures the perceived ability of a neighborhood to solve crime problems. Importantly, there are two components of collective efficacy. The first component is the willingness of residents to intervene for the common good of the neighbor hood. Such willingness, according to Sampson and colleagues (1997), is a necessary precursor for establishing informal social control, or the degree to which actual 126 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo behaviors are undertaken by residents as a means to address and prevent crime. To measure this component of collective efficacy, or the willingness to intervene, in a survey (The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, or PHDCN Survey), Sampson and colleagues asked 8,782 residents of 343 neighbor hoods in Chicago the likelihood that their neighbors would intervene in the follow ing (hypothetical) scenarios: (1) if children were skipping school and hanging out on a street corner; (2) if children were spray‐painting graffiti on a local building; (3) if children were showing disrespect to an adult; (4) if a fight broke out in the front of their house; and (5) if the fire station closest to their home was threatened with budget cuts. Respondents answered using a five‐item Likert‐type scale. The assumption is that those neighborhoods that score high on the collective willingness to intervene scale are more likely to actually intervene when faced with these and simil ar situations, thereby reducing the likelihood for crime in those communities. The second component of collective efficacy is the combination of cohesion and mutual trust. The importance of common values and similar goals among residents dates back to the earliest social disorganization research (Park & Burgess, 1925; Shaw & McKay, 1942). When residents are mostly self‐interested and care little about the community at large, it is inherently difficult for the neighborhood to pr ocure resources and to activate social ties to prevent crime. However, when there is cohesion and mutual trust among residents, there is a greater likelihood that r esidents w ill acknowledge problems in the community, will achieve consensus on how to address them, and will solve the problems in a more collective fashion. In this sense, cohesion and mutual trust are precursors to problem solving. Sampson and colleagues measure this component of collective efficacy by asking respondents in their survey the extent to which they agree with the following statements: (1) people around here are willing to help their neighbors; (2) this is a close‐knit neighborhood; (3) people in this neighborhood can be trusted; (4) people in this n eigh borhood generally don’t get along with each other; and (5) people in this neighborhood do not share the same values. Not surprisingly, measures of social cohesion and shared expectations for control were highly correlated across neigh borhoods in Chicago. The two components were combined to create a summary measure of collective efficacy. Sampson and colleagues (1997) contribute to social disorganization theory in two fundamental ways; first, they empirically demonstrate that collective efficacy has a significant negative effect on violent crime, in line with what social disorganization theory would predict, and second, they show that associations of concentrated d is advantage and residential instability with violent crime are largely mediated by collective efficacy. The second contribution is arguably the most significant as it implies that neighborhood characteristics are relevant to crime insofar as they p ro duce (or fail to produce) collective efficacy. In the years since Sampson and colleagues (1997) introduced the concept, studies examining collective efficacy in Chicago and beyond have proliferated. In general, findings from this literature echo what Sampson and colleagues documented – c omm unities with greater levels of collective efficacy have lower rates of crime and Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 127 vio lence, controlling for other factors, and that collective efficacy mediates the effects of ecological characteristics on crime and violence (Browning 2009; Browning, Feinberg, & Dietz, 2004; Mazerolle, Wickes, & Mc Broom, 2010; Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999). Moreover, given an emphasis on purposive action, the prevail ing assumption has become that the explanatory power of collective efficacy is not limited to just certain types of crime or violence. For example, Browning (2002) examines the impact of collective efficacy on partner violence. Using Sampson et al .’s survey data, as well as other data sources, he demonstrates that collective efficacy has a crime‐reducing impact on partner violence, independent of individual and relationship characteristics that heighten domestic violence risk. Another study by Dekeseredy, Alvi, & Tomaszewski (2003), which examines women’s victimization in Ontario public housing, also documents support for collective efficacy’s impact. In essence, it is becoming clearer that collective efficacy likely impacts a range of crimes and delinquent behaviors, as well as other related outcomes such as social disorder (see, e.g., Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999). In recent years, collective efficacy scholars have turned their attention to the role of peers and the extent to which parental supervision of teenage peer groups may matter for crime. Maimon & Browning (2010) once again utilize PHDCN survey data to identify whether collective efficacy modifies the effect that unstruc tured peer socialization has on violent behavior. Their multilevel models, involving 842 Chicago residents in 78 neighborhoods, confirm that collective efficacy has a negative (independent) influence on violence. More importantly, they find that an “individual’s unstructured socializing with peers is less likely to result in violence within high collective efficacy neighborhoods” (466). Their results provide ev idence that collective efficacy can attenuate the deleterious effects of other social pressures on crime. Of course in assessing collective efficacy’s usefulness for social disorganization theory, and impact in the field more generally, one should consider the concept’s predictive validity in relation to other correlates of crime – a task that Pratt & Cullen (2005) undertake in their meta‐analysis of macro‐level crime predictors. Pratt and Cullen identify over 200 studies from 1960 to 1999 that have examined the ecolog ical correlates of crime, and perform a meta‐analysis to determine which predictors have strong and stable effects on crime rates. Their findings reveal that relative to the other predictors, collective efficacy ranks fourth (out of 23) in weighted effect size. Sampson (2006) argues this finding supports the notion that collective efficacy is a robust predictor of crime rates, and is fundamental to social disorganization theory. In his presidential address at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Robert J. Sampson suggested that collective efficacy, in effect, helps neighborhoods mitigate several problems – most notably, crime and violence. Findings from the small but growing literature indicate he might be right. Yet there remain only a limited number of studies that have empirically assessed just how collective efficacy affects crime and related outcomes (for a more detailed discussion on this point, see Pratt & Cullen, 2005). For this reason, researchers must continue to explore how collective efficacy impacts crime at varying points of time and in 128 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo varying social contexts. This will entail applying sophisticated and innovative m eth odological approaches. Currently, we know very little about, for example, the longitudinal or reciprocal relationship between collective efficacy and crime. Social capital One source in which scholars have recognized immense potential for understanding variation in community crime rates is the impact of local organizations. Social d is organization theory presumes that local organizations conducive to pro‐social interaction such as churches, youth groups, charities, civic associations, and political groups, can enhance neighborhood informal social control. This is because civic and social organizations facilitate the sharing of common values and goals among residents, thereby increasing the collective ability to disseminate information, m ob ilize resources, and utilize social networks towards combating crime (Peterson, Krivo, & Harris, 2000; Triplett, Gainey, & Sun, 2003; Wilson, 1987). Recently, criminologists have adopted the concept of social capital, defined as “the investment in social relations with expected returns” (Lin, 1999:30), in order to argue that civically engaged communities yield crime‐control benefits. Scholars posit that the investment in communal social relations (i.e., civic engagement) is reflected by residents’ participation in civic and social organizations. Prosocial interaction that originates within organizational settings extends to other settings in the greater community, ultimately providing the expected return: the emergence or enhance ment of informal social control. In this sense, social capital refers to the potential for effective social action, as it does not directly encapsulate purposive action. In criminology, social capital’s operationalization most frequently reflects Lin’s (1999) higher‐order conceptualization, specifically, with respect to the investment in communal social relations. Previous studies have measured social capital using at least one of the following types of indicators: (1) a simple count of the number of civic and social organizations in the neighborhood; (2) residents’ participation in these types of organizations; and (3) the level of trust among residents. The simple count reflects investment in terms of the availability and opportunity for residents to participate in pro‐social organizational settings. Residents’ organizational p ar ticipation signifies the actual investment made in these organizations. Finally, residents’ trust levels reveal the emotional investment that underlies interpersonal relationships. Studies typically combine these indicators into a summary measure of social capital or alternatively use one of them as a single‐measure construct (Beyerlein & Hipp, 2005; Lee, 2008; Peterson, Krivo, & Harris, 2000; Putnam, 2000; Rosenfeld, Messner, & Baumer, 2001). The seminal work of Putnam (1995, 2000) is arguably considered the standard research on social capital to date. For Putnam, social capital is conceived as a m ul tidimensional concept reflected by two general forms: trust and social p ar ticipation. The concept primarily features indices of political participation, civic participation, religious participation, workplace connections, informal social ties, Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 129 phi lanthropy, altruism, and volunteering. According to Putnam (1995), levels of social capital in the United States have declined significantly since the 1960s. Putnam’s evidence in support of this claim includes declining participation rates in bowling leagues, church attendance, The Boy Scouts, labor unions, and parent– teacher associations. Putnam maintains this decline is problematic to the extent that “successful outcomes are more likely in civically engaged communities” (Putnam 1995: 65). In support of this contention, state‐level analyses of archival and survey data reveal both trust and social participation to be negatively associated with crime (Putnam, 2000). Thus, consistent with social disorganization theory, civically active communities have a greater ability to solve and prevent crime, all else equal. Recent research has built on Putnam by incorporating diverse measures of social capital into analyses. Beyerlein & Hipp (2005), for example, investigate the religious component of civic engagement on crime in US counties. Acknowledging differ ences in social networks among religious traditions, their models specify the number of congregations per 100,000 for several denominations of Christianity, including mainline Protestantism, evangelical Protestantism, and Catholicism. Beyerlein and Hipp find that greater numbers of congregations per capita – regardless of the denomination – are associated with lower crime rates across counties. In another study, Lee (2008) develops a civic engagement index that not only includes the number of religious congregations, but also the number of civic associations, sport leagues, and hobby and special interest groups in his analysis of rural US counties. Lee (2008) finds that areas with higher levels of civic engagement have lower crime rates. And in a third study, Peterson, Krivo, & Harris (2000) examine whether the presence of recreation centers and libraries impact crime rates in neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio. Peterson and colleagues discover that while libraries have little impact on crime, the presence of recreation centers appears to mitigate violent crime in the most disadvantaged Columbus neighborhoods. Two key challenges for researchers have been assessing the reciprocal influence that crime has on social capital and determining social capital’s spatial effects. One study by Rosenfeld, Messner, & Baumer (2001) examines the reciprocal nature of the social capital–crime relationship. Rosenfeld and colleagues perform a series of structural equation models (SEM), which reveal that their latent variable of social capital (which includes a dimension for both organizational participation and trust) is negatively associated with homicide rates across a sample of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. This protective effect is unaffected by standard correlates of crime as well as the reciprocal influence that homicide has on social capital. Hipp, Petersilia, & Turner (2010) address the spatial effects of social capital in their i nv estigation of how the availability of social capital (oriented) organizations affects the likelihood of r ecidi vism for California parolees. Examining the number of such organizations within two miles of the parolee’s current address, Hipp and colleagues find that a one standard deviation increase in the availability of social capital o rien ted organizations decreases the likelihood of recidivating by more than 40%. Although the analysis estimates an individual‐level outcome (recidivism of individual parolees), it is not unreasonable to suggest that this protective effect applies at the community level as well. 130 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo As previously alluded, social capital can be theorized along several dimensions as well as using a variety of methodological approaches. Yet, there is a pressing need to identify the general effect that social capital has on crime rates across aggregate units of analysis. Pratt & Cullen (2005) begin to address this need by providing a (quasi) quantitative synthesis of studies associated with social capital. They focus explicitly on the impact of noneconomic institutions, which capture those studies that examine the level of religious and political participation within communities – two indicators frequently applied in the operationalization of social capital. They find that the strength of noneconomic institutions ranks first (out of 23) in weighted effect size and, in line with predictions, such institutions are negatively associated with crime. Although their measure is only a proxy for social capital, the strength of the effect size suggests that social capital is potentially a robust predictor of lower crime rates, and therefore crucial to understanding the establishment of social control. The studies building upon Putnam’s seminal work are generally supportive of an inverse relationship between social capital and crime. However, we suggest it would be premature to conclude that social capital is a robust predictor of lower crime rates, mainly because current studies differ so drastically with respect to units of analysis, research settings, time‐periods, and estimated outcomes. Moreover, there is a d ev eloping concern regarding the extent to which social capital is theoretically d is tinct from collective efficacy and social networks (Kubrin & Weitzer, 2003). Scholars have identified mutual trust as a dimension of both social capital and collective efficacy. Similarly, mutual trust may condition the relationship between social networks and crime. In summary, although social capital presents the opportunity to better under stand the emergence of social control in communities, more research must be done before it is fully incorporated into social disorganization theory. Social ties and neighborhood networks From the earliest formulations of social disorganization theory, the concept of social ties has occupied a central place in the theory. An enduring assumption is that socially disorganized neighborhoods lack the social ties that activate mechanisms of informal social control (Kornhauser, 1978; Kubrin & Weitzer, 2003; Park & Burgess, 1925; Sampson, 2006; Sampson & Groves, 1989; Shaw & McKay, 1942). So when crime problems emerge, the theory reasons, residents are unable to effectively respond via the dissemination of information, the implementation of guardianship behavior, the mobilization of resources, and the coordination of civic events. According to the theory, the formation and maintenance of informal social control thus requires the neighborhood to have an abundant supply of strong ties that c onn ect residents to one another. Accordingly, criminologists have long examined how the presence of social ties as well as their utility and content are related to n eigh borhood crime rates. Despite substantial work in this area, the measurement of social ties is generally limited to two types of indicators: (1) the quantity of social ties, and (2) the content Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 131 of t hose ties. Such information is typically ascertained via survey questions which instruct respondents to provide information about their social exchanges and inter actions with fellow neighbors. The first indicator reflects an assumption that there is a high correspondence between an abundance of social ties and the activation of informal social control mechanisms. In contrast, the second indicator suggests that the type of social ties among residents (e.g., family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers) will differentially impact the ability to prevent crime. According to the theory, those social ties that represent emotional investment and reflect frequent interaction are deemed to be “strong,” while those ties that exhibit less familiarity and interaction are considered to be “weak.” Accordingly, the strength of neighbor hood ties is considered fundamental to the informal control of crime. Despite the theory’s predictions, the collective body of research suggests that the evidence in support of social ties’ impact is mixed with respect to crime reduction. Some studies identify social ties as a catalyst for effective social action to fight crime (e.g., Sampson & Groves, 1989) while others demonstrate that social ties may actually facilitate crime (e.g., Pattillo, 1998). In regards to the former, the seminal article by Sampson and Groves, discussed earlier, lends considerable support to the notion that an interconnected network of strong ties characterizes lower‐crime neighborhoods. Recall they used data from a large national survey of Great Britain. The survey included a question instructing respondents to indicate how many of their friends reside in their local community, from which Sampson and Groves constructed a community measure of local friendship networks defined as “the mean level of local friendships” (784). Their network measure captures the abundance of social ties char acterized by frequent interaction and emotional investment. Also recall that Sampson and Groves show that the mediating dimension of local friendship networks has an independent effect on crime and delinquency outcomes, net of (exogenous) neigh borhood characteristics. This finding suggests that neighborhood networks do appear to activate and maintain mechanisms of informal social control. The promise of social ties for social disorganization theory is less apparent in Bellair’s (1997) study, which explicitly assesses how the frequency of interaction among neighborhood residents influences crime. Using survey data from residents of 60 urban neighborhoods (spanning three states), Bellair finds that social inter action, here defined as the percentage of community residents who get together once a year or more, reduces community rates of burglary, motor vehicle theft, and r ob bery. He also finds that social interaction largely mediates the effect of neighborhood ch aracteristics on community crime, in support of social disorganization theory. Yet Bellair’s findings ultimately raise questions regarding the value of social ties for the theory. Although social interaction is significantly associated with community crime rates in the direction the theory predicts, the fact that even infrequent interaction can reduce community crime rates challenges the theory’s assumption that strong and dense ties are what matter most; Bellair’s “once a year or more” definition reflects a level of interaction that is arguably less than what the perspective theorizes. Other studies produce conflicting evidence regarding the impact of social ties. For example, using survey data from the city of Seattle, Warner & Rountree (1997) 132 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo document mixed support for social ties’ crime reducing impact. Their measure of social ties, or what they refer to as “local ties,” reflects the extent to which respon dents had done each of the following: (1) borrowed tools or food from neighbors; (2) had lunch or dinner with neighbors; and (3) had helped neighbors with problems. While Warner and Rountree find that local ties are associated with lower rates of assault in Seattle neighborhoods, they contrastingly find that these ties are associ ated with higher rates of burglary. As a result, Warner and Rountree question the assumption that social ties automatically translate into greater levels of informal social control, as the theory predicts. Even more troubling are findings from studies which suggest that social ties may, in fact, serve as a source of social capital for offenders, thereby increasing the likelihood of offending. Browning, Feinberg, & Dietz (2004) arrive at this conclusion in their study of the impact of collective efficacy and social ties on violent crime rates in Chicago neighborhoods. Using Sampson’s PHDCN survey data, they d is cover that while collective efficacy is associated with diminished rates of violence, social ties and exchange between residents appears to diminish neighborhood social control. Browning and colleagues also conclude that the “regulatory effects of collective efficacy on violence are substantially reduced in neighborhoods charac terized by high levels of network interaction and reciprocated exchange” (503). Questionable findings regarding social ties’ impact are not limited to quantitative analyses. A study by Pattillo (1998) qualitatively documents the complex relation ships among social ties, informal social control, and crime. Through participant observation and face‐to‐face interviews in a middle‐class black neighborhood in Chicago, she finds that residents are highly connected to one another and that these strong ties are characterized by emotional investment and frequent interac tion. As a result, and in support of social disorganization theory, the neighborhood is able to keep crime to a relatively acceptable level through the supervision of youth, the identification of strangers, and the mobilization of community organi zations. However, the value of these ties comes with a trade‐off; Pattillo also finds that the social ties frequently connect law abiding residents and criminals, thereby making it more challenging for the neighborhood to eradicate criminal activity. This occurs because residents are reluctant to publicly shame or legally sanction those with whom they are closely tied (even in the face of illegal behavior). Once again these findings, which reveal that social ties can simultaneously enhance and undermine informal social control, question the relevance of this concept for social disorganization theory. Although the evidence in support of social ties is mixed, we do not mean to s ugg est that criminology should abandon studying the impact of neighborhood n etw orks on crime. Instead, the present challenge is to pinpoint the specific charac teristics of networks that precipitate and mitigate crime. Doing this will require scholars to recognize, as Sampson (2006: 164) points out, that “not all networks are created equal.” In the context of social disorganization theory, this means acknowl edging that while neighborhood networks may be capable of facilitating effective social action, they are likely not sufficient, in and of themselves, to fulfill social Li nking Structural Characteristics to Crime 133 c on trol functions. Sampson (2006) lists three reasons why neighborhood networks should not be equated with effective social control: (1) weak ties can be equally important in the activation of informal social control (see also Granovetter, 1973); (2) strong ties can undermine social control efforts; and, (3) social ties may connect law‐abiding citizens with criminals and vice versa. In extending and refining the concepts of social ties and neighborhood networks for social disorganization theory, researchers must account for these “social facts.” Conclusion Social disorganization theory has long occupied an important place in criminolog ical thought and continues to do so well into the 21st century. But as with all t he ories, in order to survive it must be continuously subjected to testing and then reevaluated in light of the empirical evidence. Despite the theory’s predictive power, in this chapter, we have suggested there is room for improvement, particularly when it comes to specifying the social interactional mechanisms that link structural characteristics of communities, such as poverty and residential instability, to h eigh tened crime rates in socially disorganized communities. We have also su gg ested that such improvement may occur by attending to more recent theoret ical concepts that borrow from, but go beyond, social ties and informal social c on trol. These include collective efficacy, social capital, and social networks. In this chapter, we have defined these concepts, explicated their usefulness for social dis organization theory, and reviewed the empirical literature on their effectiveness. We believe these concepts hold significant promise. We conclude with one final suggestion regarding the fundamental challenge involved in linking structural characteristics to crime in socially disorganized comm unities. This final suggestion is related to the role that neighborhood culture/ subculture likely occupies for social disorganization theory. Although often down played (and even ignored) by scholars today, neighborhood subculture was of key interest to Shaw and McKay and other early social disorganization theorists. A central question for these scholars centered on how neighborhood subcultures became entrenched and affected rates of delinquency. They posed the question: Under what economic and social conditions does crime develop as a social tradition and become embodied in a system of criminal values? Shaw and McKay found evidence regarding the impact of neighborhood sub culture on crime and delinquency. Of particular interest is their finding that areas of low economic status were characterized by diversity in norms and standards of behavior, rather than uniformity (recall that solidarity, or an internal consensus on norms and values, is critical for social organization). Shaw and McKay found that in poor communities, youth were exposed to a wide variety of contradictory (and sometimes unlawful) standards rather than to a relatively consistent and conven tional pattern of norms. It was also determined that in these communities, children were exposed to adult criminals, from whom they could learn (illegal) behavior. 134 Cha ris E. Kubrin and James C. Wo In essence then, alongside social ties and informal social control, neighborhood s ub culture constituted a critical component of social disorganization theory, and helped to account for why crime rates were higher in disorganized neighborhoods. Decades following Shaw and McKay, researchers continued to examine how neigh borhood subculture impacted crime and delinquency, as well as how it was itself impacted by neighborhood conditions (e.g., Miller, 1958; Cloward & Ohlin, 1960; Kornhauser, 1978). Unfortunately, for reasons that have been explicated elsewhere (see Sampson & Bean, 2006), neighborhood subculture increasingly became irrele vant to the theory. Discussions regarding neighborhood subculture’s impact became obsolete and empirical examinations of the theory did not include measures reflecting local subculture. Most recently, however, cultural explanations have been resurrected in neighbor hood research, which we argue is a positive development. Scholars are both t he orizing culture’s potential impact on community crime rates (Anderson, 1999; Fagan & Wilkinson, 1998; Kubrin & Weitzer, 2003; Sampson & Bean, 2006) as well as e mp irically examining just how culture and crime are associated in both organized and disorganized communities (Berg et al ., 2012; Kirk & Papachristos, 2011; Sampson & Bartusch, 1998; Stewart & Simons, 2006; Warner, 2003). Research on cultural effects is relatively new, so there is much to be worked out with respect to the precise role that subculture occupies in social disorganization theory. But scholars are beginning to sort out the issues and progress in occurring. Although we are unable to review the important findings from this nascent but growing literature, what we can say here is that it is becoming abundantly clear that, in the words of Kubrin & Weitzer (2003: 380), “cultural factors deserve greater attention” and can no longer be ignored. As Shaw and McKay and other early theorists believed, we cannot understand variations in crime rates across communities without also understanding the role that neighborhood subcultures occupy in the calculus. Along with greater attention to the concepts of collective efficacy, social capital, and social networks, future work must continue to specify subculture’s critical role. References Anderson, E. (1999). Code of the Street. New York: Norton. Bellair, P.E. (1997). Social interaction and community crime: Examining the importance of neighbor networks. Criminology , 35, 677–703. Berg, M.T., Stewart, E.A., Brunson, R.K., & Simons, R.L. (2012). 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