Social scientists have long argued over the links between crime and place. The authors of Communities and Crime provide an intellectual history that traces how varying images of community have evolved over time and influenced criminological thinking and criminal justice policy.
The authors outline the major ideas that have shaped the development of theory, research, and policy in the area of communities and crime. Each chapter examines the problem of the community through a defining critical or theoretical lens: the community as social disorganization; as a system of associations; as a symptom of larger structural forces; as a result of criminal subcultures; as a broken window; as crime opportunity; and as a site of resilience.
Focusing on these changing images of community, the empirical adequacy of these images, and how they have resulted in concrete programs to reduce crime, Communities and Crime theorizes about and reflects upon why some neighborhoods produce so much crime. The result is a tour of the dominant theories of place in social science today.
Pamela Wilcox is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Pennsylvania State University. She is the coauthor of Criminal Circumstance: A Dynamic, Multicontextual Criminal Opportunity Theory and Communities and Crime: An Enduring American Challenge (Temple), and the co-editor of Challenging Criminological Theory: The Legacy of Ruth Rosner Kornhauser. Graham C. Ousey is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at William & Mary. Marie Skubak Tillyer is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
"Wilcox, Cullen, and Feldmeyer provide an intellectual history of communities and crime in the US. They look at seven perceptions of the inner-city community—community as socially disorganized, as system, as truly disadvantaged, as criminal culture, as broken window, as criminal opportunity, and as collective efficacy—devoting a chapter to each. The authors emphasize the macro context, i.e., the idea that though particular images of community convey static differences, inner-city criminalistic communities are not islands but have distinct ongoing linkages with surrounding communities and neighborhoods and with the larger region of the city.... Summing Up: Recommended."--Choice