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NCJ Number: 134114 Find in a Library
Title: Functions of Crime: A Paradoxical Process
Journal: American Journal of Sociology  Volume:96  Issue:6  Dated:(May 1991)  Pages:1441-1463
Author(s): A E Liska; B D Warner
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 23
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Research on fear of crime theory and opportunity theory is combined to develop and test a model that suggests that some crime, especially robbery, increases the fear of crime which limits the social interaction in the community and results in reductions in this and other patterns of deviance and crime.
Abstract: Following Durkheim, functionalists argue that crime or the reaction to it (punishment) brings people together, thereby building social solidarity and cohesiveness which in turn decreases crime. In contrast, recent theory and research on the fear of crime argue that crime or the reaction to it do not bring people together; instead, it undermines their social solidarity. In addition, opportunity theory and research suggest that constraining social interactions to safe sites and times limits the opportunities for crime. The model that combines opportunity research and fear of crime research indicates that crime is stabilized through a negative feedback loop as proposed by functionalists, but through processes more like those proposed in opportunity theory. Data from the 26 cities of the National Crime Survey during 1973 and 1974 were analyzed and found to support the model. Figures, tables, and 41 references (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Crime control theory; Fear of crime; Robbery
Index Term(s): Opportunity theory; Socialization
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