This project was supported, in part, by Grant 1999-IJ-CX-0052 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Eastern Kentucky University's Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies' Program of Distinction Research Fellowship. Points of view in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. The author would like to thank Bob Bursik, Steve Messner, Paul Bellair, Fred Markowitz, and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
THE ROLE OF ATTENUATED CULTURE IN SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION THEORY*
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 73–98, February 2003
How to Cite
WARNER, B. D. (2003), THE ROLE OF ATTENUATED CULTURE IN SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION THEORY. Criminology, 41: 73–98. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2003.tb00982.x
Barbara D. Warner is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. Her research addresses the effects of community characteristics on crime and crime control and has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Justice Quarterly, Criminology, Sociological Focus, and Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance. Her current research focuses on culture and crime, and how community characteristics are related to different models of justice.
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Cultural disorganization;
- attenuated culture;
- informal social control;
Current criminological research rooted in social disorganization theory has primarily focused on structural disorganization and has largely ignored the role of cultural disorganization. This paper develops the theoretical role of cultural disorganization in the contemporary social disorganization model, integrating aspects of both the systemic model and a cultural attenuation model. This model is empirically examined using structural equation modeling. Survey data from residents in 66 neighborhoods in a Southern state provide the primary data. In part, the findings show that concentrated disadvantage and the level of social ties affect cultural strength, which in turn significantly affects informal social control. These findings demonstrate the relevance of weakened culture in explaining informal social control and call for further theoretical expansion of social disorganization models to include cultural disorganization.