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SOC316H5 (68)
Lecture 3

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Paula Maurutto

January 25, 2013 Lecture 3- THECONTESTABLE NATURE OF COMMUNITY The Contestable Nature of Community • What is community?- concept of community in crime prevention/ control • Tied to welfare state in 1950s- idea of providing equality • Diverse strategies based on crime prevention model being used • 2 models of Community Crime Prevention • Basic Premises • Examples • Assumptions inherent in the concept of community crime prevention (CCP) What impacts do communities have on crime control policies? What is community? • the residential neighbourhood (traditional meaning) • an organic unit of social organization characterized by enduring personal ties and networks, a high level of social interaction and cohesion, a sense of belonging and common goals, involvement in community affairs, and a feeling of wholeness. • crime prevention in particular space • i.e. ethnic communities, virtual, or sports communities • assumption in crime control practices that we have seen loss of social cohesion in last few decades which contributed to crime and disorder • Durkheim- social contract and how that creates certain values/norms that communities share • Community crime prevention dependent of socialization of community members and enduring social cohesion (dependent on social processes) • Need strong networks of associations among residents and also between residents and social institutions • Assumption that strong social cohesion =less crime Two models of community crime prevention: • the community mobilization model • concerned with preventing opportunity for crime to occur • organizing local residents to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour (how innocent people can also be stopped; what is suspicious to one person might not be to another) • collective, active, and sustained watchful neighbourhood • mobilize the citizens to work in partnerships with police to prevent crime • **traditionally concerned with opportunity for crime • the community developmental model • focuses on socioeconomic development of neighbourhood or at risk groups • identifying underlying causes of crime and providing social programs to address those causes • **tries to address causes of crime **common for both: strong sense of informal social control, positive social development through local institutions, rely on social cohesion and communities to work together Basic Premises of Community Crime Prevention: • Community-based Approach: assumption that these programs based on assumption that private citizens play major role in maintaining order in society and therefore they should be encouraged to ensure their own safety and security • Proactive and involved interventions to prevent crime • Community needs to identify and respond to short and long term needs/goals (in partnership with police and other institutions) • Strategies for preventing crime should be supported by the whole community in order to be effective • Collective Action: collective response in which individuals act jointly to undertake crime prevention activities • Cannot be accomplished alone; strength in numbers • “when people begin to protect themselves as individuals, and not as a community, the battle against crime is lost” • Only way to prevent crime is to work together as a community • Behavioural Reinforcement/Modification: focus not on changing behaviour of perpetrators of crime but educating and modifying behaviour of potential victims to limit the chances of victimization • Changing level of victimization by strengthening local social environment • Crime assumed to flourish in neighbourhoods with shallow roots • Need to restore values in community • Informal Social Control: at the community level, family, organizations (i.e church groups), neighbourhood that imposes rules and norms • Based on customs, social norms and common agreements • How citizens can enforce those social rules • Can be enforced through several ways- i.e. raising your eyebrows, ridiculing someone or giving them a warning, physical intervention • Argue that it has a more powerful effect than formal social control mechanisms (i.e. cops); for example when a teacher calls in a parent to talk rather than go to authorities • More effective than state control for minor levels of crime • I.e. block watch, citizens control etc. – share information and come up with ideas on how to deal with certain problems in the community • Peer-imposed stigma: if individuals violate rules of community, you can impose guilty feelings that will
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