Veal_1010_NeighborhoodsandCrime - Neighborhoods and Crime...

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Neighborhoods and Crime: The Dimensions of Effective Community Control by Robert J. Bursik and Harold G. Grasmick In Neighborhoods and Crime, Robert J. Bursik, Jr. and Harold G. Grasmick explicitly state issues and concerns surrounding neighborhoods and the effective control of those neighborhoods. They argue that social disorganization theory has failed to pay attention to the broader political, social, and economic dynamics of the urban systems in which neighborhoods are securely held. They propose that such omissions can be addressed by reformulating the disorganization model within a broad, systemic approach to neighborhood structure. Particularly, they maintain that a full understanding of urban crime is impossible without consideration of the ability of neighborhoods to exert local control by mobilizing the potential resources available through networks of community residents, schools, churches, and institutions and agencies located outside of the neighborhood which they respectively call private, parochial, and public levels. They have concluded on the basis of their own rigorous research and extensive review of the literature on neighborhoods, crime, control and communities, compelling evidence that this systemic approach can synthesize and integrate the often times contradictory findings that have characterized the studies of neighborhood rates of criminal behavior and also studies of the fear of crime, gang related activities, and victimization. In addition, the authors emphasize the clear implications of the systemic approach for the design of effective crime-control programs. For instance, in neighborhoods without other effective community groups, Bursik and Grasmick conclude that the very groups that researchers study to understand the basics of crime in any given neighborhood may possibly form the single most important component of an effective community-centered crime-control program. Only a broad, systemic neighborhood approach to crime control would explain or reduce criminal activity according to Bursik and Grasmick.
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Veal 2 Bursik and Grasmick’s systemic theory of neighborhood organization was an expansion of Shaw and McKay’s theory of social disorganization that stated racial and ethnic heterogeneity combined with residential instability characterized poor neighborhoods and made it highly difficult for the neighborhood to achieve the common goals of its residents. A second underlying theme of the social disorganization theory formulated by Shaw and McKay that Bursik and Grasmick found that needed more research was the idea that delinquency rates were negatively correlated with distance from the central business district of the Chicago community. This finding placed huge emphasis on human ecology. Bursik and Grasmik believed that the causal linkage between social disorganization and juvenile delinquency rates was not clearly explicated by Shaw and McKay therefore forcing them to reformulate their own basis of a systemic theory of neighborhood
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Veal_1010_NeighborhoodsandCrime - Neighborhoods and Crime...

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