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Foreclosures and Crime: Testing Social Disorganization Theory in the Suburbs

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
Foreclosures have increased in the US since the 1970's. The increase in foreclosures has caused concern among some researchers on their affect on crime. Social disorganization theory measures the effect various structural characteristics, such as poverty, residential instability/mobility, racial/ethnic heterogeneity, and family disruption have on crime. This study, though, is concerned with residential instability/mobility, or the presence of foreclosed houses in neighborhoods. Although most studies using this theory look at low-income neighborhoods, the following research looks at middle- and upper-income neighborhoods, which have been greatly affected by foreclosures. The theory also argues that the level of collective efficacy can reduce crime even in neighborhoods that are otherwise considered to be socially disorganized. Using ArcGIS mapping, the following research investigated 30 neighborhoods in Orange County, Florida that have high foreclosures in neighborhoods for the years of 2005-2009. Canvasses were conducted in all 30 neighborhoods to measure the level of collective efficacy within the neighborhoods to help explain the presence of high or low residential burglary. Thirteen neighborhoods stood out as noteworthy because they fell at the far end of the spectrum (-) high foreclosures and high crime, and high foreclosures and low crime. Some of the neighborhoods with high residential burglary did have strong indicators of low collective efficacy, while neighborhoods with low residential burglary had indicators of high collective efficacy. The majority of the indicators found in this research support previous research on various indicators of collective efficacy.
Title: Foreclosures and Crime: Testing Social Disorganization Theory in the Suburbs.
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Name(s): Hoskin, Sara, Author
Lynxwiler, John, Committee Chair
Corzine, Harold, Committee Member
Gay, David, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Foreclosures have increased in the US since the 1970's. The increase in foreclosures has caused concern among some researchers on their affect on crime. Social disorganization theory measures the effect various structural characteristics, such as poverty, residential instability/mobility, racial/ethnic heterogeneity, and family disruption have on crime. This study, though, is concerned with residential instability/mobility, or the presence of foreclosed houses in neighborhoods. Although most studies using this theory look at low-income neighborhoods, the following research looks at middle- and upper-income neighborhoods, which have been greatly affected by foreclosures. The theory also argues that the level of collective efficacy can reduce crime even in neighborhoods that are otherwise considered to be socially disorganized. Using ArcGIS mapping, the following research investigated 30 neighborhoods in Orange County, Florida that have high foreclosures in neighborhoods for the years of 2005-2009. Canvasses were conducted in all 30 neighborhoods to measure the level of collective efficacy within the neighborhoods to help explain the presence of high or low residential burglary. Thirteen neighborhoods stood out as noteworthy because they fell at the far end of the spectrum (-) high foreclosures and high crime, and high foreclosures and low crime. Some of the neighborhoods with high residential burglary did have strong indicators of low collective efficacy, while neighborhoods with low residential burglary had indicators of high collective efficacy. The majority of the indicators found in this research support previous research on various indicators of collective efficacy.
Identifier: CFE0004386 (IID), ucf:49374 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-08-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Sociology
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Social Disorganization Theory -- Foreclosures -- Collective Efficacy
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004386
Restrictions on Access: public 2012-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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