Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Informal Social Control

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_429


Research in sociology and criminology consistently indicates that crime clusters in places characterized by adverse conditions such as neighborhood disadvantage and residential mobility. Scholars draw on social disorganization theory and its idea of community social organization – the capacity of local communities to solve commonly experienced problems and realize collective goals – to help explain this clustering of crime. In neighborhoods characterized by high levels of informal social control, social disorganization is comparatively low, suggesting the importance of informal social control as a strategy to achieve community social organization. Informal social control reflects the ability of local neighborhoods to supervise the behavior of their residents and the capacity of neighborhoods to socialize their residents conventionally (Bursik 1988; Bursik and Grasmik 1993; Sampson and Groves 1989). In addition to promoting social organization, a predominance of evidence shows...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA