Chapter

Are Processes of Social Disorganization Relevant to the Criminology of Place?

David Weisburd, Elizabeth R. Groff and Sue-Ming Yang

in The Criminology of Place

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369083
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979110 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369083.003.0006
Are Processes of Social Disorganization Relevant to the Criminology of Place?

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This chapter examines whether social disorganization theory is relevant to the criminology of place. Do characteristics of social disorganization cluster at a very local level of geography? Are there hot spots of social disorganization as there are hot spots of crime and crime opportunities? Perhaps most important, do characteristics of social disorganization vary within larger areas of geography such as communities and neighborhoods? If characteristics of social disorganization vary only at higher geographic units, then the theory's salience for understanding the variability at micro units of geography would be limited. But if such traits vary greatly within neighborhoods and across street segments, then social disorganization theory must be considered as a potential explanatory perspective in the criminology of place.

Keywords: social disorganization theory; crime hot spots; geography; local level

Chapter.  7000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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