Since E. A. Ross’s ( 1929) seminal work at the beginning of the twentieth century, social control has emerged as a central concept in American sociology. Recent research indicates that neighborhoods with high levels of informal social control have lower crime rates. This article reviews findings on the role of neighborhood social ties in providing informal social control and preventing crime, both theoretically and empirically. It discusses the important gaps in knowledge that are considered crucial in better understanding the role played by social ties in social control and crime prevention. The article first describes Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay’s social disorganization theory and its extension, the systemic model of social disorganization. It then emphasizes the need to distinguish social disorganization theory from deterrence theory, highlighting the implications for models of justice and identifying areas for future research.
This is the abstract from a recent publication by Criminal Justice Professor, Barbara Warner, in The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory that’s available in the GSU Library’s collection as well as the College of Law Library’s collection. Dr. Warner’s research addresses the enduring question of why some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others. Her other recent publications on this topic include:
Beck, E., Ohmer, M., & Warner, B. (2012). Strategies for Preventing Neighborhood Violence: Toward Bringing Collective Efficacy into Social Work Practice. Journal Of Community Practice, 20(3).
Warner, B. D., & Burchfield, K. (2011). Misperceived Neighborhood Values and Informal Social Control. JQ: Justice Quarterly, 28(4), 606-630.