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NCJ Number: 68502 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC VIEWS OF CRIME AND CRIME PREVENTION (FROM NEW APPROACHES TO SOCIAL PROBLEMS, P 237-264, 1979, BY IRENE HANSON FRIEZE ET AL)
Author(s): L H KIDDER; E S COHN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PERSONAL THEORIES EXPRESSED BY PEOPLE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT CRIME, OR EXPRESSED BY THEIR ACTIONS WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING ABOUT CRIME, ARE EXPLORED IN THIS RESEARCH PAPER.
Abstract: THE ARTICLE ALSO EXPLORES THE FEELINGS OF CONTROL OR HELPLESSNESS THAT ACCOMPANY THESE THEORIES AND ACTS, AND DESCRIBES HOW SOCIAL POLICY CAN BE BOTH A CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE OF LAY THEORIES ABOUT CRIME. THE APPROACH USED TO EXAMINE THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS ABOUT CRIME IS AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ONE, WITH PARTICIPANTS' OBSERVATIONS AND INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED IN SEVERAL SETTINGS. THE RESEARCHERS ATTENDED COMMUNITY CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS, CIVIC ASSOCIATION MEETINGS, AND CITY BLOCK MEETINGS AND ALSO TALKED WITH POLICE, MERCHANTS, CIVIC LEADERS, HOUSEWIVES, AND CHILDREN. QUANTITATIVE SURVEY DATA WERE ALSO EXAMINED. THE MODEL DEVELOPED TO ORGANIZE THE PERSONAL THEORIES ABOUT CRIME CAUSES REPRESENTED A METHOD OF CODING THE ATTRIBUTIONS THAT APPEAR IN PEOPLE'S STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS. ATTRIBUTIONAL CATEGORIES WERE THE VICTIM-OFFENDER DIMENSION AND THE DISTAL AND PROXIMAL FACTORS THAT LEAD SOMEONE TO BECOME EITHER A VICTIM OR OFFENDER. FINDINGS SHOWED THAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ONE SET OF FACTORS AS THE CAUSES OF CRIME AND ACT ON ANOTHER SET WHEN THEY CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT CRIME. DISCREPANCY EXISTS BETWEEN PEOPLE'S CONCERNS WITH CRIME AS A SOCIAL PROBLEM AND THEIR FEARS OF THEIR OWN RISK. PEOPLE LIVING IN AREAS WITH HIGH CRIME RATES REPORT A LOW CONCERN WITH CRIME AS A SOCIAL PROBLEM AND HIGH FEAR OF PERSONAL VICTIMIZATION, THUS PERHAPS ATTRIBUTING CRIME TO SOCIAL CONDITIONS. PEOPLE ACT TO REDUCE THEIR PERSONAL RISK OF VICTIMIZATION IN RESPONSE TO THEIR OWN FEARS. THEIR ACTIONS DO NOT FIT WITH THEIR IDENTIFICATION OF THE CAUSES THEY ATTRIBUTE TO CRIME. CRIME PREVENTIVE EFFORTS IMPLY CAUSAL ANALYSIS, AND CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS SHOULD BE STUDIED TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS OF THE CAUSES OF CRIME AND THEIR ACTIONS TO PREVENT VICTIMIZATION.
Index Term(s): Citizen crime tolerance; Crime Causes; Crime prevention measures; Crime surveys; Social psychology; Sociology; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68502

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