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CRM2310 (78)

Unit 1: Why Community Intervention?

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Kate Fletcher

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CRM 2310 Lecture Notes – Unit 1: Why Community Intervention? Wednesday January 8 2014 Class #1 Why Community Intervention? Intervention • Conscious, planned, concerted action ---> to alleviate, eliminate social problems Informal/formal • Informal: Enacted by regular citizens, volunteers, community groups (such as • neighbourhood watch) Formal: CJS itself intervenes • Reactive/proactive • Reactive: dealing with a situation after it has occurred - governments tend to be more • reactive Proactive: trying to prevent something from happening in the future • Crime as Social Problem • Intrinsically linked to other social problems Universally relevant • No one wants to be victimized • Socially, economically costly • Potentially devastating - can overwhelm us • • Affects social fabric • Of communities - if many people are being incarcerated • Crime allows us to feel in control because we can take control of it and deal with it Causes of Criminality • Parental criminality • Opportunity Stigma • Poverty • Inequality • • Racism • Deteriorated communities • Child abuse Lack of schooling • Unemployment • Mental illness • Types of Community Geographical • Physical areas - look at the boundaries on a map • • Community is a container • Assumption that everyone who lives in that space shares something in common - such as shared interests, race, culture, socioeconomic status • Interest • Common/shared characteristics • Often elective communities - you choose to belong to them Intentional - belong to them to advance a common goal • Eg. Church, gangs, the internet, sports, Facebook, clubs, etc • Attachment • Based loosely on geography and loosely out of interest - such as being Canadian • We think of ourselves as Canadian and fundamentally different than Americans • Not only geography but ideology as well • Most interventions are still fixated on the geographic aspects • Theorizing Community in Social Life "Community lost" • Being lost in contemporary society • "Community saved" • Saved by people - still exists but in different forms • "Community liberated" ---> community as being transformed • • Needs to be liberated from the constraints of geography or territory - the nature of togetherness is changing "Community Lost" • Wellman (1979) • Urbanization/industrialization ---> decline in personal associations • Created the climate for us to be wary of one another • Forms the basis of modern sociology and criminology • The problem with big cities: • Increasing anonymity amongst citizens (if you don't know your neighbours, you don't know what they're doing) • People don't know one another, so they can't help one another - may become increasingly unwilling to intervene Types of Community • Tonnies (1887) • Moving away from the sense of community that existed in small, rural environments • Provides immediate, direct contact among individuals • Defines relationships in a specific way • Used to have a certain level of self-sufficiency in these small towns - people would rely on others to help with only the things that you couldn't do yourself • In big cities, we rely on others to do everything, and it is done in a very anonymous way • As we move into bigger cities, communities decline • Gemeinschaft • Discuss communities and how they regulate the relations of individuals • Gesellschaft • Sense of community declines as people move into bigger cities Chicago School • All different neighbourhoods in a city have a symbiosis with each other - mutual benefit, the components are dependent on one another • Cities are like bodies, ecosystems • A theory of place - not a theory about people • They commit crime because of the place in which they're located Social Disorganization of Communities • Residential instability • People want to leave the transitional zone ASAP • Do not want/do not have time to get to know each other • Racial/ethnic heterogeneity • Something that could lead to a lot of conflict - a barrier to get to know neighbours (don't speak the same language, have the same values, cultures, etc • Poverty • In this place, people are poor - one of the reasons why these neighbourhoods are disorganized • Parents working to support their families, so kids are left alone with no guidance • Anonymity "Community Lost" • Social ties are deteriorating because we are losing community • Impersonal • Utilitarian, instrumental • Transitory • Encounter a lot of people all the time for brief moments - not getting to know anyone • Segmented • Fractions of time, not the same person all the time • Becoming increasingly anonymous Community as Networks • Social networks ---> relationships ---> ties (strong - family members, close friends, close neighbours - or weak - not necessarily intimate/close relationships, school friends, a professor you can ask for a letter of recommendation) Weak ties can allow you to gain something but are not strong relationships • Builds sense of self • • Navigate demands of everyday life - feel more secure • We need both strong ties and weak ties • Weak ties give us a sense of security "Community Saved" • Neighbourhood systems of support and sociability persist • Local identification • Focus on ethnographic work or research of neighbourhoods "Community Liberated" • Increase in suburbanization/technological change ---> non-spatial communities • Eg. Detroit - no one lives near the downtown core Industrial cities • Public vs. private spheres • Not engaging with people in the public sphere in ways that we used to • Public space is increasingly private space - it is owned by someone who can dictate the • rules Rethinking Community • Bauman (2001) Togetherness must be conceptualized in a new way - how we experience togetherness in • social spaces • Mobile • Moving alongside one another Stationary • • Waiting alongside one another Temporal • Functioning alongside one another at work/in a classroom • Manifest • Experiencing something at the same time - in a crowd • Postulated • Theorized togetherness - in a virtual environment (the internet) • Monday January 13 2014 Class #2 "Community" Transformed • Less reliance on neighbourhoods • Psychological support • We don't necessarily need to know our neighbours - we form social bonds differently now • Cultural enrichment • Spiritual nourishment • Site to realize common values in support of social goods - eg. Public safety, socialize youth, trust, engage people so they belong to volunteer associations (do something on behalf of one another) • Neighbourhoods are still a beneficial environment • Less geographically based • Suburbanization - moving out of the city • If we want to solve something like crime, community must be fairly healthy • Not focusing on individual explanations of crime • Look to solve the problem of crime by engaging communities or fixing communities Importance of Community (Sampson and Putnam) • "Neighbourhood effects" - some of the reasons why communities are important and why it has such an impact in the lives of individuals • Important determining factors on the quality of our lives • Neighbourhoods have effects on these types of elements and impacts how we live • Local service quality • The institutions that contribute to an individual’s quality of life - eg. Schools, recreational facilities, churches, community health services, daycare, retail establishments (grocery stores, liquor stores), post offices, etc • The ability to access goods and services that contribute to your quality of life and are located in your geographic area • Will also affect job opportunities - may have to travel outside your neighbourhood • Shared norms/values • Make you feel secure - you can rely on neighbours, a feeling of connectedness • Doesn't always correlate to income levels - a neighbourhood doesn't necessarily have less social solidarity if it is populated with lower income people • May make people more likely to intervene • Peer influences • Have a big impact on youth being criminally involved - they model the perspectives of their peer group • Youth culture is characterized by risky behaviour that encourages delinquency • The atmosphere of the community is going to impact the nature of youth behaviours that will or will not be tolerated • Crime and violence • Impact
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