How social processes organize neighborhood problems and solutions /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Schalliol, David Charles, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (120 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Richard P. Taub Committee members: Jens Ludwig; Forrest Stuart.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:One of the striking features of contemporary urban life is how little of the variation in neighborhood social conditions can be explained by standard neighborhood indicators. Surely one major factor in this shortcoming is that few studies seek to untangle the mediating processes that contribute to local social organization and disorganization. Instead, many urban projects rely on metrics that simply gesture towards relevant processes. In such work, variables constructed from misdemeanor arrests, the systematic social observations of disorder, or opinions expressed in resident surveys may be correlated with neighborhood attributes, but the actual processes that link these elements remain unstudied.
This dissertation seeks to engage these issues by unpacking the black box of social processes through the ethnographic study of a South Side Chicago community. This ethnically segregated but otherwise heterogeneous neighborhood provided a remarkable context to explore the ecological and informal dynamics of social organization in part because it was well defined, possessed few formal institutions, and had significant "objective" signs of disorder and crime -- and their control. To that end, the three papers that comprise this dissertation were motivated by questions including: 1. How is social control facilitated in a neighborhood with few formal institutions? 2. How do intra-neighborhood differences in the framing of disorder and its abatement influence local social organization? 3. How do neighborhood attributes and frames influence the persistence of local criminal activities?
Correspondingly, the first paper investigates "public traumas," sites of violence experienced as an assault on a coherent community, and how they facilitate the development of a special kind of bridging weak tie that enables informal local order maintenance. The second paper explores how differences in how residents frame disorder and its abatement influence intra-neighborhood conflicts. And the third paper examines how the evolution of neighborhood-based frames can help explain why certain places are prone to criminal activities and why people choose to engage in them.
My hope is that refocusing attention on intra-neighborhood organization and disorganization will produce a more nuanced understanding of local social processes, generate higher quality metrics of these processes and, ultimately, craft better policies to support desired outcomes.