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Peterson, R. D., & Krivo, L. J. (2010). Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide. New York: Russell Sage


NOTE - if pressed for time, just concentrate on understanding what is happening with violent crime, and ignore what is going on with property crime.

ANOTHER NOTE - there are several questions below here that say it is important to understand this figure or this table. One way to be sure that you understand these is to write something about a couple of these.

The racial spatial divide
Racialized disadvantage


INITIAL QUESTION SET - essential questions are in bold

Chapter 1:
How do the authors explain the origins of urban neighborhood racial structure?
In this chapter the authors first introduce their dichotomy: crime is a concentration of good or bad people versus crime as a concentration of good or bad places. Where do you come down on this matter? (Great exam question!) This also links to your deciding whether you are a macrocriminologist or a microcriminologist.

Chapter 2:
What are your thoughts about the neighborhood differences in crime by racial composition, and why they are so different for violent versus property crime?

Racial differences at the community level go along with what other types of differences at the community level?

In this chapter the researchers introduce the community justice or mass incarceration perspective in the roles that criminal justice agencies made playing and adversely affecting communities. Where do you come down on this matter? How does segregation work? What role do you see that various factors play?

Chapter 3:
What are the differences in residential conditions of white versus African-American versus Latino versus minority versus integrated neighborhoods? Among these various differences, which do you think are most important for the crime question? Why?

Chapter 4:
You want to be sure you understand: tables 4.1, 4.2, figure 4.1, tables 4.3 and 4 .4.

Chapter 5:
What features of communities nearby adversely affect community crime rates?
Does this help us further understand community crime differences by racial composition?
You want to be sure you understand the tables and figures starting on page 101
. These represent the final stage in the author's argument.

Chapter 6:
Most of this is a summary of their arguments and evidence. But they do have some interesting and potentially provocative comments about how society is organized in the roles of the criminal justice system in creating and/or maintaining and/or exact or baiting the racial spatial crime divide. They also endorse some very strong proposals made by current racial scholars. These are clearly controversial. The important thing for us in this course is to understand how these arguments can be supported by the evidence presented, rather than debate the policy policy merits.