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Examining Social Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment Using the Work of Bourdieu, Coleman and Putman
The value that individuals attribute to their social ties with other residents can have an impact on the amount of crime that occurs within their own neighborhood. While previous criminological research has identified a negative relationship between the levels of social capital and victimization within neighborhoods, these studies often used different conceptualizations of social capital. This study seeks to extend previous research by examining the multiple dimensions of social capital within each classical approach and to assess each dimension's influence on self-reported violent victimization and property crime victimization in Chicago neighborhoods using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Multivariate regression analyses measure the effects of these social capital dimensions individually. The results primarily assess which dimension(s) of social capital lead to significantly lower self-reported accounts of violent victimization and property crimes in Chicago Neighborhoods. Findings suggest that the dimensions of social cohesion and trust and informal social control are important indicators in predicting violent victimization and that Coleman's model of social capital is consistently related to lower violent and property crime in Chicago neighborhoods, when compared to the other models. source
Western Kentucky University
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