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Keywords:

  • Cultural disorganization;
  • attenuated culture;
  • informal social control;
  • communities

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.