Poverty and Crime (Sociology)

1600 Words Sep 11th, 2012 7 Pages
Ashley Duran

Sociology 1101

August 9, 2010

Poverty and Crime

A social issue that has always intrigued me was crime (petty crime, violent crime, etc) in impoverished urban areas and the social and economic impact that crime causes in these areas. Before conducting my research into this topic, I have always pondered why crime and poverty are so closely related. Are these two so closely linked solely because of the lack of income in the area? Or are there some other unknown or unexplained reasons that influence crime in impoverished urban areas? Does family structure influence crime and an individual’s participation in crime? Does the lack of community organization and structure, such as neighborhood
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While looking into research on this topic of crime and poverty, I have found many studies that have been quite helpful. One study that was most beneficial to me was one done by Mary E. Pattillo and was titled “Sweet mothers and Gangbangers: Managing Crime in black Middle- Class neighborhoods”. In this study, Mary Pattillo examines why Black middle-class neighborhoods have higher internal poverty rates and are closer to high-poverty and high-crime areas than white middle-class neighborhoods. For her analysis, she uses ethnographic data from a black middle-class neighborhood in Chicago. Results show that stability in certain residential areas assist in the informal supervision of residents, mainly neighborhood youth and increase participation in formal activities. On the contrary, incorporating gang and drug elements into law abiding neighborhoods disrupt the efforts of neighborhood organization (social forces, 1998). Another study that helped me was one done by Bruce P. Kennedy and Vanita Gupta titled “Social Capital, Income Inequality, and Firearm Violent Crime”. In this study, researchers Kennedy and Gupta hypothesize that the effect of the growing gap between the rich and poor is mediated through an undermining of social cohesion,

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