Social Order and Disorder of Street Blocks and Neighborhoods: Ecology, Microecology, and the Systematic Model of Social Disorganization

  • Taylor R
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Bursik and Grasmick's recently reformulated, ecologically oriented systemic model of neighborhood disorder explicitly recognizes three levels of informal social control: private (family and close friends), parochial (based on nearby acquaintances), and public(between neighborhoods and external agents and agencies). Recent research suggests that the model deserves further articulation at the parochial level. The author proposes developing the parochial level of informal social control in the following three ways: by recognizing within-neighborhood variation in informal social control and responses to disorder; by acknowledging the central importance of street blocks as durable features of the everyday environment connecting residents to broader ecological dynamics in their neighborhood; and by developing microecological principles, analogous to human ecological principles, to help us understand connections between street block and community-level ecological dynamics. The proposed perspective links ecological and community psychological perspectives with social disorganization processes to clarify spatial and temporal variations in the collective psychogeography of residen-based control.

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  • Ralph B. Taylor

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