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Crime and Social Organization: Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 10

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
351 pages
Ten papers, authored by leading scholars who share Al Reiss's view that understanding social organization must be at the heart of criminological research and practice, extend their own explorations and chart new territory in topics related to the impact of social organization on crime and its prevention.
The papers in this volume inform three major themes in the construction of the problem of the social organization of crime. The first may be defined as the social organization of crime itself. Many types of crime involve multiple offenders. Even some crimes that first appear to be acts of lone individuals often involve larger criminal structures. The correlates of the organization of criminal acts into networks, hierarchies, and markets with specific structural characteristics remain relatively unstudied. A second area of concern is the social organization of the context of crime. Crime does not consist of an isolated act of interchange between offender and victim. Rather, it occurs in the context of multidimensional social organization, including family, neighborhood, place, formal organization, and situation, all of which provide essential long-term and immediate elements in the unfolding of specific criminal events, as well as the immediate and long-term consequences of such events. A third area of inquiry is the social organization of the organized response to crime. A variety of formal organizations -- including a variety of government agencies, community organizations, advocacy groups and nonprofit and for-profit service providers -- are assigned the task of controlling, measuring, and responding to crime, criminals, and crime victims. How these organizations separately and collectively define and provide society's reactions to these categories is a separate and influential dimension of social organization. 2 figures, 6 tables, and chapter references

Date Published: May 1, 2000