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date: 17 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sorts out some of the ideas that are sometimes mixed together under the rubric of “social disorganization.” It argues that (1) social disorganization is really not an independent variable or a theory; (2) rather, it is a composite image of the “delinquency area”—the part of town that also has very high crime rates; and (3) this composite image can be disentangled and then clarified, allowing students to learn it and researchers to sharpen their findings. The chapter extracts four distinct images of the delinquency area in the effort to clarify the topic, help people learn it, and assist researchers.

Keywords: social organization, environmental criminology, delinquency area, high crime rate, high-crime neighborhood

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