NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGES IN ECOLOGY AND VIOLENCE

RALPH B. TAYLOR, JEANETTE COVINGTON

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162 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate links between ecological changes and changes in violence in Baltimore neighborhoods in the 1970's The two most salient ecological changes during the decade were (1) the emergence of a large number of gentrifying neighborhoods and (2) the further absorption of several older, minority neighborhoods into an “underclass” status Relative deprivation and social disorganization each predict increasing violence in gentrifying and emerging underclass neighborhoods. But, relative deprivation theory highlights the role of changes in economic status, whereas social disorganization highlights the role of changes in stability or family status. We further suggest that connections between ecological change and changes in disorder are contingent not only on historical context, but also on overall neighborhood structure at the beginning of the period. We hypothesize: (a) neighborhoods becoming more solidly “underclass” will experience increasing violence as status and stability decline and (b) emerging gentrifying neighborhoods will experience increasing violence as status and stability increase. Controlling for spatial autocorrelation, results support these hypotheses In emerging underclass neighborhoods status changes are most clearly linked to violence changes, whereas in gentrifying neighborhoods violence shifts are most closely tied to changing stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-590
Number of pages38
JournalCriminology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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