Social Disorganization and Violent Crime in "the Burbs"

Randy R. Gainey, Old Dominion University
Ivan Y. Sun, Old Dominion University
Ruth Triplett, Old Dominion University

ABSTRACT
Research testing social disorganization theory has focuses primarily on relatively large urban cities. A few recent articles have suggested that social disorganization theory is also relevant to rural areas but, to our knowledge, no research has focused on smaller cities and suburban neighborhoods. In this paper we use census and police data combined with data on local institutions (e.g., churches and bars) to assess the efficacy of social disorganization theory to explain crime rates in this largely unexplored context. Theoretical implications for the theory are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006