“Because That’s What Justice Is to Us”: Exploring the Racialized Collateral Consequences of New Parochialism
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- Becker, S. Crit Crim (2014) 22: 199. doi:10.1007/s10612-013-9211-6
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Renewed interest in communities as spaces for criminal opportunity has generated numerous studies of neighborhood social dynamics and crime. Most of this research is rooted in social disorganization theory, which examines neighborhood structural characteristics that facilitate effective social control. While many studies tout the benefits of community-based controls, the potential externalities of these efforts remain underexplored. In the modern neoliberal context, where policing strategies stress community involvement and often focus on vaguely-defined problems like “quality of life” or “incivilities” and where police have considerable enforcement discretion, the unintended consequences of community-based controls are important to document. I use the ethnographic case study of Gardner Village to explore the potential collateral consequences of one form of collective social control: new parochialism. Applying a critical lens to the social disorganization literature, I argue that when embedded in particular structural contexts, new parochialism contributes to the reproduction of inequality and undermines community-building processes.