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Annual Review of Sociology (1978)
Berkeley Journal of Sociology (1992)
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
Sociological Forum (2012)
Urban sociology has tended to study interactions between passersby and "street persons" with an emphasis on the ways street persons become bothersome, harassing, or dangerous. This article moves away from the focus on the ways interactions in public go awry and focuses on how individuals account for the mundane, everyday exchanges they have with strangers who seek their help. Based on interview data (N = 31) and qualitative analysis of data from an Internet survey (N = 110), this article suggests that the presence of beggars does not inherently symbolize urban decay to passersby and does not necessarily elicit anxiety, but instead provides a valuable texture of urban life. Further, the article argues that individuals, when justifying their responses to requests for help from needy persons (beggars) in urban spaces, use a variety of cultural strategies to maintain their perception of themselves as moral persons, both when they choose to help and when they refuse. Drawing from these findings, the article suggests that urban sociology and the sociology of risk would benefit from sensitizing their studies of public interactions to the diverse meanings individuals assign to them, rather than presupposing annoyance, anxiety, or fear as their predominant characteristic.
The British Journal of Sociology (1987)
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2003)
Article contains no Abstract.
The British Journal of Sociology (1994)
The policing of the anti-poll tax campaign allows an insight into how protest is incorporated. Protestors were both accommodated and coerced as police sought to balance various threats of 'trouble.' Concessions and overt assistance were offered as a means of 'winning over' the protest organizers, whilst legal conditions were imposed to ensure that any threat of disorder was contained. This analysis suggests that notions of an ubridled shift towards a more confrontational style of policing in the wake of the Public Order Act are unfounded. It illustrates the relationship between institutional and interactional social processes, for institutional considerations limit the police's room for manoeuvre, whilst low-level decisions by police officers themselves have implications for those institutions.
The British Journal of Sociology (1998)
The 'fear of crime' has been at the centre of political and policy debate for some time. The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the continued relevance of that debate in the light of findings from an in-depth two and a half year research project. The findings from that project suggest that the relation people have with crime, criminal victimization, and the fear of crime is mediated by the relevance of their relationship with their local community and their structural position within that community. Understanding the nature of these relationships suggests the question of trust is of greater value in highlighting who is and who is not afraid of crime.
American Journal of Sociology (1999)
This article uses ethnography and conversation analysis to pinpoint what “goes wrong” when certain so-called street people “harass” passersby. The technical properties of sidewalk encounters between particular black street men and middle-class white female residents of Greenwich Village are compared with interactions expected from studies of other conversation situations. The men attempt to initiate conversations and to deal with efforts to close them in ways that betray the practical ethics fundamental to all social interaction. In this way they undermine the requisites not just for “urbanism as a way of life,” but the bases for how sociability generally proceeds. These acts of “interactional vandalism” both reflect and contribute to the larger structural conditions shaping the local scene.
Theory and Society (2019)
This article provides a sociological explanation for urban “greening,” the normative practice of using everyday signifiers of nature to fix problems with urbanism. Although greening is commonly understood as a reaction against the pathologies of the industrial metropolis, such explanations cannot account for greening’s recurrence across varied social and historical contexts. Through a study of greening in Germany’s Ruhr region, a polycentric urban region that has repeatedly greened in the absence of a traditional city, I argue that greening is made possible by a social imaginary of nature as an indirect or moral good, which I call urbanized nature, that is an outcome of, and subsequently becomes a variable in, urbanization. I draw on processual accounts of urbanization and the sociology of morality to explain urbanized nature’s emergence in the Ruhr at the beginning of the twentieth century, and its use to fulfill two competing visions of urban democracy in the postwar period. I find that rather than an ideological reaction against cities, greening is an aspirational practice that can be mobilized by a range of actors in a variety of places and times. By showing how a new social imaginary made new forms of moral action possible and how those ideals were then materialized in urban space, this article draws attention to the role of cultural imaginaries in urban change and to the material consequences of moral beliefs.
City & Community (2015)
Scholarship in urban sociology has pointed to the reliance of city governments on ever-more market mechanisms for organizing social and economic policy. This form of governance involves prioritizing cities’ cultural and social assets for their value in a global competition of urban “brands,” each competing for new infusions of human and investment capital. At the same time, however, cities have been at the center of seemingly progressive policy efforts aimed at promoting innovation, sustainability, and creativity. These themes represent a newly dominant planning discourse in cities across the globe. While researchers have thoroughly examined how “creative classes” and “creative cities” may exclude everyday, working-class, or poor residents, new urban imaginaries focused on sustainability potentially imply less stratified urban outcomes. Analyzing two high-profile interventions in Buenos Aires, Argentina—a sustainable urban regeneration plan for the historic downtown, and the creation of an arts cluster in the impoverished south of the city—this paper argues that despite divergent narratives, creative and sustainable urban projects suggest similar policy agendas, planning assumptions, and relationships to market mechanisms. Increasingly, global policies, whose design and objectives may appear to contradict market logics, may have outcomes that further them.
Sociological Methods & Research (2018)
Since the early 2000s, the proliferation of cameras, whether in mobile phones or CCTV, led to a sharp increase in visual recordings of human behavior. This vast pool of data enables new approaches to analyzing situational dynamics. Application is both qualitative and quantitative and ranges widely in fields such as sociology, psychology, criminology, and education. Despite the potential and numerous applications of this approach, a consolidated methodological frame does not exist. This article draws on various fields of study to outline such a frame, what we call video data analysis (VDA). We discuss VDA’s research agenda, methodological forebears, and applications, introduce an analytic tool kit, and discuss criteria for validity. We aim to establish VDA as a methodological frame and an interdisciplinary analytic approach, thereby enhancing efficiency and comparability of studies, and communication among disciplines that employ VDA. This article can serve as a point of reference for current and future practitioners, reviewers, and interested readers.
Annual Review of Sociology (2002)
This paper assesses and synthesizes the cumulative results of a new “neighborhood-effects” literature that examines social processes related to problem behaviors and health-related outcomes. Our review identified over 40 relevant studies published in peer-reviewed journals from the mid-1990s to 2001, the take-off point for an increasing level of interest in neighborhood effects. Moving beyond traditional characteristics such as concentrated poverty, we evaluate the salience of social-interactional and institutional mechanisms hypothesized to account for neighborhood-level variations in a variety of phenomena (e.g., delinquency, violence, depression, high-risk behavior), especially among adolescents. We highlight neighborhood ties, social control, mutual trust, institutional resources, disorder, and routine activity patterns. We also discuss a set of thorny methodological problems that plague the study of neighborhood effects, with special attention to selection bias. We conclude with promising strategies and directions for future research, including experimental designs, taking spatial and temporal dynamics seriously, systematic observational approaches, and benchmark data on neighborhood social processes.
American Journal of Sociology (2017)
Drawing on the social disorganization tradition and the social ecological perspective of Jane Jacobs, the authors hypothesize that neighborhoods composed of residents who intersect in space more frequently as a result of routine activities will exhibit higher levels of collective efficacy, intergenerational closure, and social network interaction and exchange. They develop this approach employing the concept of ecological networks—two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through spatial overlap in routine activities. Using data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, they find evidence that econetwork extensity (the average proportion of households in the neighborhood to which a given household is tied through any location) and intensity (the degree to which household dyads are characterized by ties through multiple locations) are positively related to changes in social organization between 2000–2001 and 2006–2008. These findings demonstrate the relevance of econetwork characteristics—heretofore neglected in research on urban neighborhoods—for consequential dimensions of neighborhood social organization.
The British Journal of Sociology (1998)
This paper examines the interplay between informal social control, civil unrest and local crime management in Belfast. Official crime management is the responsibility of the police, but where this role is contested, 'popular' or local forms of crime management occur. The local management of crime is accomplished in certain localities in Belfast by several mechanisms that extend beyond the policing role of the paramilitaries, and popular crime management is rooted in social processes, such as the survival of community structures, extended family kinship patterns, neighbourliness and legitimate authority accorded to community representatives, which constitute important informal social controls. Informal social control is recognized as important in inhibiting crime, but this paper reports on its role in the management of crime in the absence of reporting it to the police. These informal social controls are localized, being mediated by class, communal redevelopment, civil unrest and other social transformations affecting the locality. In this respect, political violence has helped, locally, to protect some areas from the worst vagaries of community breakdown and dislocation, with a positive effect on crime management. These issues are explored ethnographically by means of in-depth qualitative research.
The British Journal of Sociology (1992)
The correlation between class and delinquency often observed in areal studies and assumed in prominent sociological theories is elusive in studies of individuals commonly used to test these theories. A restricted conceptualization of class in terms of parental origins and the concentration of self-report survey designs on adolescents in school have removed from this area of research street youth who were once central to classic studies of delinquency. We argue that street youth experience current class conditions that cause serious delinquency, and that life on the street is an important intervening variable that transmits indirect effects of control and strain theory variables, including parental class origins. Data gathered from nearly 1000 Toronto school and street youth are analyzed with important implications for the conceptualization of class and delinquency, testing and integrating sociological theories of delinquency, the measurement of delinquency, and the use of cross-sectional and longitudinal research designs. Our findings especially encourage incorporation of street-based samples into research on class-based aspects of theories of delinquency.
American Journal of Sociology (1999)
This article assesses the sources and consequences of public disorder. Based on the videotaping and systematic rating of more than 23,000 street segments in Chicago, highly reliable scales of social and physical disorder for 196 neighborhoods are constructed. Census data, police records, and an independent survey of more than 3,500 residents are then integrated to test a theory of collective efficacy and structural constraints. Defined as cohesion among residents combined with shared expectations for the social control of public space, collective efficacy explains lower rates of crime and observed disorder after controlling neighborhood structural characteristics. Collective efficacy is also linked to lower rates of violent crime after accounting for disorder and the reciprocal effects of violence. Contrary to the “broken windows” theory, however, the relationship between public disorder and crime is spurious except perhaps for robbery.
Annual Review of Sociology (2019)
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the relation between networks and spatial context. This review examines critically a selection of the literature on how physical space affects the formation of social ties. Different aspects of this question have been a feature in network analysis, neighborhood research, geography, organizational science, architecture and design, and urban planning. Focusing primarily on work at the meso- and microlevels of analysis, we pay special attention to studies examining spatial processes in neighborhood and organizational contexts. We argue that spatial context plays a role in the formation of social ties through at least three mechanisms, spatial propinquity, spatial composition, and spatial configuration; that fully capturing the role of spatial context will require multiple disciplinary perspectives and both qualitative and quantitative research; and that both methodological and conceptual questions central to the role of space in networks remain to be answered. We conclude by identifying major challenges in this work and proposing areas for future research.
Social Science & Medicine (2007)
Epidemiology, sociology, and geography have been successful in re-establishing interest in the role of place in shaping health and health inequalities. However, some of the relevant empirical research has relied on rather conventional conceptions of space and place and focused on isolating the ‘‘independent’’ contribution of place-level and individual-level factors. This approach may have resulted in an underestimate of the contribution of ‘place’ to disease risk. In this paper we argue the case for extensive (quantitative) as well as intensive (qualitative) empirical, as well as theoretical, research on health variation that incorporates ‘relational’, views of space and place. Specifically, we argue that research in place and health should avoid the false dualism of context and composition by recognising that there is a mutually reinforcing and reciprocal relationship between people and place. We explore in the discussion how these theoretical perspectives are beginning to influence empirical research. We argue that these approaches to understanding how place relates to health are important in order to deliver effective, ‘contextually sensitive’ policy interventions. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The British Journal of Sociology (1997)
The Israeli protest movement 'Women in Black' is studied by focusing on the movement's mode of protest, which is used as a prism through which to analyse the manner in which the structure, contents and goals of protest challenge the socio-political and gender orders. The article analyses the protest vigil of 'Women in Black' in Jerusalem, and characterizes it, following Handelman (1990), as a minimalist public event. After examining and analysing the sources of minimalism it was concluded that minimalism was the result of two social processes attendant at the formation of 'Women in Black' as a social movement: personal interpretation of the political field, and avoidance of ideological deliberation amongst the participants. The minimalism of the public event preserved the movement for six years and created a collective identity that emphasized the symbolic difference between those within the demonstration and those outside it. This difference was symbolized by a juxtaposition of opposites. The essence of opposites is analysed by means of 'thick description', i.e., by deciphering them in the context of Israeli society. The study concluded that the mode of protest of 'Women in Black' has created a symbolic space in which a new type of political woman is enacted. This identity challenges established socio-cultural categories Israel.