Buurtdynamiek en slachtofferschap van criminaliteit [Neighbourhood dynamics and crime victimization: A study on the effects of socio-economic improvement, decline, and stability in Dutch neighbourhoods]
Number of pages
SourceMens en Maatschappij, 78, 1, (2003), pp. 4-28
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
Mens en Maatschappij
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Changes in neighbourhood status primarily result from the selective in- and out-migration of income groups. In turn, these changes are related to the chance of becoming the victim of a crime in the local community. Drawing from Shaw and McKay’s (1942) social disorganization theory, we argue that victimization is not only more likely in disadvantaged neighbourhoods but also in neighbourhoods where improvements are taking place. These neighbourhoods are assumed to suffer from social instability caused by the strong influx of new residents, and from social heterogeneity that is caused by the simultaneous presence of high-income and low-income groups. Indeed, results from multilevel analyses on victimization survey data from the Politiemonitor Bevolking 1999 for over seventy thousand respondents show that strong socio-economic improvement of neighbourhoods is related to higher victimization risk for theft, violence and vandalism. City-level characteristics (e.g. population size) were also associated with victimization, independent of individual and neighbourhood characteristics. This study thereby adds to social disorganization theory in two ways: 1) Social disorganization is not only dependent upon socio-economic composition of neighbourhoods, but also upon socio-economic dynamics. 2) To understand differentiation in victimization, social processes within neighbourhoods as well as the larger social context are relevant.
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