“I Want It, I See It, I Take It”

Peter K. B. St. Jean

in Pockets of Crime

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780226774985
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226775005 | DOI:
“I Want It, I See It, I Take It”

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This chapter presents ethnographic data about how robbers select (or stumble upon) their targets and how physical neighborhood appearances (physical disorder), social neighborhood appearances (social disorder), and residents' perceptions of the capacities of collective action to reduce crime (collective efficacy) are related in the process. While staging robberies, robbers pay almost no direct attention to physical disorder, find differential opportunities among places of high social disorder, and take heed of factors relevant to collective action against them. Most notably, they thrive on spontaneous or predictable opportunities that are available in spaces mainly because of where they are located and what business activities occur within them.

Keywords: robbers; criminals; physical disorder; social disorder; collective action; collective efficacy

Chapter.  7119 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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