Browsing by Author "Abbott, James Stephen"
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ItemAn Empirical Examination of Crime and Collective Efficacy in a Mid-Sized Southern Community(Middle Tennessee State University, 2014-10-30) Abbott, James Stephen ; Jurkanin, Thomas ; Harms, Joshua ; Montgomery, Michael ; Criminal Justice AdministrationContemporary criminological theory is organized by schools of thought, based upon the particular theoretical premise, and reflecting basic assumptions about human behavior and influences. For example, some theories focus on causative biological factors in explaining criminal conduct, while others focus on psychological factors, or sociological factors. Still other theories examine crime using a mixed approach. Many contemporary theories of crime are based upon sociological perspectives and environmental influences, looking specifically at neighborhoods and communities and their relationship to crime. One such theory of community social disorganization examines collective efficacy within high crime areas. This theory is based upon the premise that neighborhoods and communities exhibiting high incidents of crime, are characterized by a lack of community organization, and suffer from a breakdown of informal social control. The theory contends that low collective efficacy among residents in the community, leads to higher rates of crime. This thesis will examine and test the theory of collective efficacy to determine if communities exhibiting lower levels of collective efficacy also demonstrate higher rates of crime.