Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bursik, Robert J., Jr., and Harold C. Grasmick: Levels of Control
Michael O. Maume
Crime is higher in some neighborhoods than others. Robert J. Bursik, Jr., and Harold C. Grasmick have argued that neighborhoods vary in the degree of social control they can apply to the crime problem and that this variation is critical to understanding why there are low-crime and high-crime neighborhoods. Rooted in social disorganization theory, Bursik and Grasmick introduced their systemic theory in their book, Neighborhoods and Crime . Their ideas have since been applied not only to research on neighborhoods and crime, but also fear of crime, gangs, urban disorder and the effectiveness of community policing and restorative justice initiatives. This entry discusses their theory in more detail, along with a description of empirical support, recent refinements and critiques of the theory. Sociologists and criminologists have long held that social control is a central concept in criminological theory. Sociologists in the early 20th century defined it as any social force ...