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Incivilities In Neighborhood

Decent Essays
Neighborhood disorder, broadly defined as the social and physical incivilities within a neighborhood (Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999), affects residents’ perceptions of fear and safety (Austin, Furr & Spine, 2002; Yavuz & Welch, 2010). Social incivilities could include drunk people in public space or panhandlers while physical incivilities include litter or deliberate property damage. Wilson’s and Kelling’s “broken windows” theory (1982) provides social sciences with the most well-known model of neighborhood disorder, which posits that the presence of physical and social incivilities lead to greater fear among neighborhood residents. Consequently, a cycle of perpetual social breakdown within the neighborhood occurs.
Many others have since examined
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A study of Baltimore neighborhood data that compared residents based on racial characteristics found that residents living in predominantly Black neighborhoods (>90%) perceived their neighborhoods as less safe than residents living in non-predominantly Black neighborhoods —even after controlling for individual and neighborhood characteristics (Taylor & Covington, 1993). Sampson & Raudenbush (2004) found that the neighborhood racial/ethnic composition predicted perceptions of neighborhood disorder, even after accounting for poverty. Research has also found that Blacks tend to fear crime more than Whites (Callanan, 2012). Indeed, Black women living in high-crime neighborhoods are less likely to walk and engage in physical activity in their communities (Wilbur, Chandler, Dancey, & Lee, 2003). As such, it might be expected that neighborhoods with predominantly Black residents may perceive low levels of safety. Therefore, race remains an important factor to account for when examining neighborhood disorder and perceptions of…show more content…
However, very little is known about how other types of community violence (e.g., robberies/muggings, gang fights, and fights with weapons) affect women’s perceptions of safety. Furthermore, even less is known about how men respond to violence within their neighborhoods. The literature suggests that men are more prone to fears of confrontation or robbery, therefore, men’s perceptions of safety may revolve around community violence, such as robberies/muggings, gang fights, or fights with weapons, and less around sexual
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