Neighborhood Structure, Crime, and Fear of Crime: Testing Bursik and Grasmick's Neighborhood Control Theory

Neighborhood Structure, Crime, and Fear of Crime: Testing Bursik and Grasmick's Neighborhood Control Theory

Neighborhood Structure, Crime, and Fear of Crime: Testing Bursik and Grasmick's Neighborhood Control Theory

Neighborhood Structure, Crime, and Fear of Crime: Testing Bursik and Grasmick's Neighborhood Control Theory

Synopsis

In this collection, Esther Raizen explores the significance and value of Hebrew poetry written in response to the wars in which Israel was involved during the last fifty years. The anthology includes the works of many poets, some as well known as Nathan Altherman and Yehudah Amichai and others less known. The poems, presented in both English and Hebrew, depict war as viewed by the soldier, as reflected upon by civilians, and as a force giving rise to the creation of poetry. Raizen explores in an introductory essay the issue of whether poetry written with a defined political message and in the context of certain historical events can function adequately on the aesthetic level. She also tracks the changes in the characteristics of Israeli war poetry from 1948 to 1991, beginning with the glorified patriotism expected in the 1930s-1940s and progressing to the critical ideas in the later years, during which poetry is characterized by understatement and cynicism.

Excerpt

Over fifty years ago, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay made one of the most important insights in the field of criminology. High rates of crime and delinquency can persist in certain neighborhoods despite complete turnovers of the racial and ethnic population (Shaw and McKay, 1942). This led Shaw and McKay to the conclusion that delinquency could not be adequately explained by characteristics associated with individuals such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and intelligence. Rather delinquency was intimately associated with the characteristics of particular neighborhoods.

Despite the influence of Shaw and McKay on the field of criminology for many years, the discipline had shifted its focus back toward individual-level explanations of delinquency throughout much of the 1970’s and 80’s. Only in recent years have “kinds of places” or contextual (Stark, 1996, p. 128) explanations become accepted again (Sampson, 1997).

In “Neighborhoods and Crime: The Dimensions of Effective Community Control” (1993), Bursik and Grasmick proposed a “systemic theory of neighborhood control.” Their theory is a reformulation of a social disorganization model. The central thesis of Bursik and Grasmick’s theory is that differences in neighborhood . . .

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