Assessing the Social Bonds of Elderly Neighbors: The Roles of Length of Residence, Crime Victimization, and Perceived Disorder
ABSTRACT Starting from the rationale that elderly urban residents tend to be “neighborhood-bound,” this study examines the relationship between age or aging and local social bonds (friendship, social cohesion and trust, informal social control, and participation in local organizations). Specifically, is the level of local bonding among elderly urban residents (age 65 and over) greater than that of the younger cohorts (17–35, 34–49, and 50–64)? Additionally, two specific hypotheses are constructed to examine the determinants of local social bonds among elderly urban residents: the systemic approach, regarding length of residence; and the social-disorganization approach, regarding crime victimization and perceived disorder. Using Chicago data collected in 1995, the analysis found a substantial difference between the elderly cohort and each of the younger cohorts in only the friendship category of local social bonds. The other results show that in a sample of elderly urban residents, length of residence is the only significant, positive factor in local friendship, and that the two disorder predictors, physical and social, play a substantial role in weakening two types of local social bonds, social cohesion and trust and informal social control.
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ABSTRACT: 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 variations 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 resident-based control.Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 01/1997; 34(1):113-155. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We propose a theoretical framework on the structural sources and spatially embedded nature of three mechanisms that produce collective efficacy for children. Using survey data collected in 1995 from 8,782 Chicago residents, we examine variations in intergenerational closure, reciprocal local exchange, and shared expectations for informal social control across 342 neighborhoods. Adjusting for respondents' attributes, we assess the effects of neighborhood characteristics measured in the 1990 census and the role of spatial interdependence. The results show that residential stability and concentrated affluence, more so than poverty and racial/ethnic composition, predict intergenerational closure and reciprocal exchange. Concentrated disadvantage, by contrast, is associated with sharply lower expectations for shared child control. The importance of spatial dynamics in generating collective efficacy for children is highlighted-proximity to areas high in closure, exchange, and control bestows an advantage above and beyond the structural characteristics of a given neighborhood. Moreover, spatial advantages are much more likely to accrue to white neighborhoods than to black neighborhoods.American Sociological Review. 01/1999; 64:633-660.
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ABSTRACT: The authors develop and assess a scale of perceived neighborhood disorder. The scale of neighborhood disorder has high reliability, external validity, and shows interesting distinctions, and overlaps between physical and social disorder. It also shows that order and disorder are two ends of a single continuum.Urban Affairs Review 01/1999; 34(3):412-432. · 1.10 Impact Factor