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NCJ Number: 201189 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Role of Attenuated Culture in Social Disorganization Theory
Journal: Criminology  Volume:41  Issue:1  Dated:February 2003  Pages:73-98
Author(s): Barbara D. Warner
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 1999-IJ-CX-0052
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article integrates the role of cultural disorganization into the contemporary social disorganization theoretical model.
Abstract: Community-level criminological research that draws upon social disorganization theory has largely focused on structural disorganization while ignoring aspects of cultural disorganization. As such, the role that cultural aspects may play in criminal activities has been left undeveloped. The author thus explores how elements of cultural disorganization may be integrated with the social disorganization model to produce a more complete understanding of crime. Although the social disorganization model has included aspects of both culture and structure, the author places the role of values more centrally, emphasizing the role of a weakened normative culture on informal social control mechanisms. In order to empirically examine the new model, the author collected community-level survey data from 66 neighborhoods in the 2 largest cities of a Southern State. Structural equation modeling was utilized in the analysis of the data. Results indicate that concentrated neighborhood disadvantage and the level of social bonds affect cultural strength. In turn, the level of cultural strength significantly impacts informal social control. As such, the author has demonstrated the relevance of culture in accounting for informal social control and contends that the absence of cultural elements within social disorganization models weakens its explanatory powers. Figures, tables, references
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation; Informal social control
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Cultural influences; Theory
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