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(Re)conceptualizing Neighborhood Ecology in Social Disorganization Theory: From a Variable-Centered Approach to a Neighborhood-Centered Approach

  • Kubrin, CE
  • Branic, N
  • Hipp, JR
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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Shaw and McKay advanced social disorganization theory in the 1930s, kick-starting a large body of research on communities and crime. Studies emphasize individual impacts of poverty, residential instability, and racial/ethnic heterogeneity by examining their independent effects on crime, adopting a variable-centered approach. We use a “neighborhood-centered” approach that considers how structural forces combine into unique constellations that vary across communities, with consequences for crime. Examining neighborhoods in Southern California we: (1) identify neighborhood typologies based on levels of poverty, instability, and heterogeneity; (2) explore how these typologies fit within a disorganization framework and are spatially distributed across the region; and (3) examine how these typologies are differentially associated with crime. Results reveal nine neighborhood types with varying relationships to crime.

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