Communities And Crime Analysis
Communities and Crime analysis
The book ‘Communities and Crime’, is written by Pamela Wilcox, Professor of Criminal Justice, Francis T. Cullen, American criminologist and Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, and Ben Feldmeyer, Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice, at University of Cincinnati.
The book offers an intellectual history that describes the effect of the variable perspective of a community in developing the criminal justice policy and criminological intellectual. In this book, the authors summarized the major philosophies that have influenced the development of theory, investigation, and strategy focused on communities and crime. All chapters of the book analyze the challenges of the community with the aid of an analytical or theoretical perspective. According to this perspective, the challenges of the community are viewed as social disorganization, a system of associations, an indication of larger organizational authorities, a criminal subcultures consequence, a broken window, opportunity of crime, and set for resilience.
This academically valuable and thought-provoking book represents a significant focus area of criminological study.
Least Interesting Chapter
Chapter 03: Community as a System
Chapter 03, Community as a System seems least interesting among all the chapters of the book. It is due to two reasons. Firstly, the chapter is a blend of complex theories and intricate concepts that require a deep understanding of criminological theories beforehand. A person with a mediocre level of knowledge, will not be able to comprehend the context of the chapter. The chapter explores the stance of the community as a system. The authors examined the disappearing influence of the Chicago School. They have also elaborated on the consequent amplified revival of Social Disorganization Theory in the role of “Systemic model of neighborhood network-based informal social control” (Pamela Wilcox et al., p 36). With critical and extended vision, it was observed that a community’s vulnerability to organize operative networks and links of self-regulation leads to social disorganization.
Another reason for the disinterest is the extensive use of sophisticated terminologies and phrases. The difficult to grasp the language and complex techniques to describe the theories makes the chapter reading a tedious task.
Most Interesting Chapters
Chapter 05: Community as a Criminal Culture
Chapter 05 encompasses the historical variations of the assumed role of culture in community crime. The chapter is interesting to read because the study of culture and its relation to crime has always been the most fascinating and prevalent approach to comprehend the frequency of community crime rates in the United States. Though, after interesting developments and events in the scholarly journey, this convention has occurred at current status after an intellectual journey that has taken many twists and turns. The chapter keeps the reader motivated to study the historical development of the theories starting from initiating work of Shaw and McKay to the work of Sampson, Wilson, and Anderson in the late 1980s.
Culture is the dominant and noticeable subject in this chapter. The authors have presented the problems related to crime in two ways. In the first approach, the cultured is explored as a crime generating factor. In the second approach, the cultured is viewed from another angle which is a facilitating factor. The chapter allows the reader to comprehend the cultural factor from both points of view.
It is interesting to see that the emphasis is laid on outlining the dissimilarity between cultural criminal theories and other diminished cultural theories. While it also explains the association of cultural theories with value-laden baggage linked to cultural criminal theories.
This chapter is not only interesting but also important as in the past two decades, the cultural criminal theory has surfaced as a distinguishing and key standpoint for understanding crime and crime control strategies.
Chapter 07: Community as Criminal Opportunity
Numerous researches, theories, and books explore only the perspective of people committing a crime or victimized by crime. However, chapter 07 shifts the focus from the perspective of people associated with crime to the place where crime takes place. The authors view the community as an opportunity to commit a crime. It does not comprise of a new or distinguished philosophy. The chapter is based on numerous well-suited theories. According to Garland, who is the world's prominent sociologist of crime and punishment, these theories are based on everyday criminologies.
The chapter describes the factors and strategies to reduce the situational opportunities and leading factors of crime instead of explaining the complex theories on the reasoning of criminological behavior. This provides readers with new insights on crime facts. This chapter is also significant as multiple key factors and components of crime opportunities are focused and the chapter provides the adequate context of criminology to the reader.
Chapter 09: Communities and Crime
The ninth chapter is the final chapter where the authors unite the consolidating theme of the entire book. The authors concisely summarize the situated perspectives of communities and crime as known through history. as known through history. Next, the well-versed theories concerning future descriptions of communities and crime are presented which are significant for the criminological community to be considered.
This chapter is important for the criminological world as the ‘multi-contextual image of community’ is embraced which requires further research.
The book is structured around the location theories presented from the beginning of the twentieth century to date. Ach theory is well explained, with the addition of stimulating historic as well as personal facts of the theorists. This book contains a vast knowledge of criminology and can be referred to whenever an authentic view is needed.
Pamela Wilcox, et al. Communities and Crime. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2018.
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