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SOC355H1-The Paradox of Social Organization.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Alexandra Marin

The Paradox of Social Organization: Networks, Collective Efficacy, and Violent Crime in Urban Neighborhoods By Christopher Browning and Robert D. Dietz Main Findings:  Describes and tests 2 dimensions of social organization in regulation of neighborhood crime: 1. social networks (ties and exchange between neighborhood residents) 2. collective efficacy (mutual trust and solidarity combined with expectations for prosocial action)  argues that – while social networks may contribute to neighborhood collective efficacy, they also provide a source of social capital for offenders, therefore diminishing the regulatory effectiveness of collective efficacy  This negotiated coexistence model considers 2 theories of neighborhood crime 1. systematic transmission perspective 2. cultural transmission perspective  Uses census data from 1990, the 1994-1995 Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods Community Survey, and 1995-1997 Chicago Homicide Data  Results indicate that regulatory effects of collective efficacy on violence are reduced in neighborhoods with night levels of network interaction and reciprocated exchange Research Question: Why do some socially organized neighborhoods nevertheless exhibit relatively high crime rates? Why it’s important:  Recent work emphasizes role of structural factors (e.g. poverty, residential instability) in determining strength of network ties, neighborhood attachments and shared norms – which are seen to be necessary for successful regulation of crime  The empirical and theoretical progress on this topic has failed to explain why some socially organized neighborhoods still exhibit high crime rates  Evidence of stable, socially integrated, yet high-crime neighborhoods challenge the social disorganization perspective  On the other hand, subcultural perspective emphasize role of subcultural orientations towards crime  Yet little evidence of
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