By Alan France, Dorothy Bottrell, Derrick Armstrong (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime
110). The unwillingness of residents to be active collectively for one another’s benefit is seen as a fundamental problem in high-crime areas (Morenoff, Sampson, Raudenbush, 2001). Sampson and others reject the social network theory of Putman (2000) arguing that social networks do not guarantee collective efficacy (Sampson, 2004). For example, research on the relationship between violence and collective efficacy in a number of high-crime communities in the US concluded that social ties are important for crime control insofar as they lead to the activation of social control and mutual engagement among residents.
Second, it is usually through some form of ‘socialisation’ in these settings that the young learn what ‘right and wrong’ mean and how to act with self-control (or not) which then influences their relationship with offending. This perspective (as we shall see) has its limits. In attempting to account for the role of place in young people’s relationships with offending, developmental criminologists struggle to explain the broader patterning of this social ecology by external forces and structures and how mechanisms of social control embedded within local areas may operate to influence both their choices and relationship with crime.
In other words power and power relationships are important in understanding the processes of individuals’ self-formation and sense of selfhood. At the heart of discussions on social identity is the relationship between ‘structure’ and ‘agency’. In contemporary debates this question remains central. Much of this discussion has focused on exploring the structure/ agency dichotomy examining how these dual concepts influence social identities. Giddens (1984), for example, argues for the importance of a theory of structuration.
A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime by Alan France, Dorothy Bottrell, Derrick Armstrong (auth.)