Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stacy K. McGoldrick
Vandalism is the purposeful defacement or destruction of public or private property without permission. Because it does not usually materially profit the perpetrator or physically harm the victim, it is generally considered to be a crime of anger, alienation, protest, or statement. The term vandalism can refer to everything from carving initials in school desks; breaking windows; scrawling threats on churches, synagogues, and mosques; painting graffiti on buildings and subway cars; to overturning tombstones or ruining school or business property. Accordingly, reactions to vandalism vary widely. Although often connected to today's cities and to gang territoriality or even computer ...