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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200495 Find in a Library
Title: Conceptualization and Operationalization of the Intervening Dimensions of Social Disorganization (From Readings for Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice, P 15-25, 1999, M.L. Dantzker, ed., -- See NCJ-200493)
Author(s): Laura J. Moriarty
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth-Heinemann
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
Sale Source: Butterworth-Heinemann
225 Wildwood Ave
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article expands on the measurement of social disorganization using data collected to evaluate an alcohol and other drug coalition.
Abstract: Social disorganization applies to communities with certain structural characteristics, such as an inability to realize the common values of its residents and lack of effective social controls in the community. There are three structural factors of social disorganization: low economic status, ethnic heterogeneity, and residential mobility. Community empowerment describes a group of individuals living in close proximity that, as a group, unite to form a force to combat a common problem. The population in this study is one rural county in Western North Carolina. The mode of observation is survey research. The variables used in this study to measure community awareness, community concern and community action were drug usage in the neighborhood, drug dealing in the neighborhood, alcohol/drug prevention messages, and availability of certain drugs. Results show that the community empowerment variables were not inter-correlated with any of the social disorganization variables. This lack of inter-correlation is a necessary first step before one can access if the variables are measuring the same dimension of a concept. It can be maintained that these factors are intervening dimensions of social disorganization. From this analysis, one can add the variables of community concern and community awareness, or lack thereof, as additional measures of structural barriers to forming ties to a community. Also, one can add the variables measuring drug availability in a community as intervening dimensions of social disorganization. This proposed model of social disorganization must be tested empirically. It seems probable that in the future researchers can begin to test these additional intervening dimensions of social disorganization. 2 tables, 24 references, 2 endnotes
Main Term(s): Social organization; Testing and measurement
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Crime Control Programs; Crime prevention education; Public Opinion of Crime; Social cohesion; Socialization
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