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Sampson, R. J. (2012). Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. Chicago: University of Chicago Press





1. What is the neighborhood effect? This topic arises repeatedly throughout the volume. Pay close attention every time Sampson defines it, and keep track of how it is being used. A background piece that may help you get started with this question is: Sampson, R. J., Morenoff, J. D., & Gannon-Rowley, T. (2002). Assessing "neighborhood effects": Social processes and new directions in research. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 443-478.

2. Collective efficacy: a) What is it generally? b) What are the important different threads within collective efficacy, in other words, what are its components? c) What are the processes whereby it works? d) What outcomes does it affect? e) For each of these outcomes, can you explain how the process works, in specific terms?

3. Are you clear on how the attribute collective efficacy is similar to, but different from, related terms such as informal social control, sense of community, social capital, neighborliness, or territorial functioning? A background piece that may (no guarantees) be helpful is: Taylor, R. B. (2002). Fear of crime, social ties and collective efficacy: Maybe masquerading measurement, maybe deja vu all over again. Justice Quarterly, 19(4), 773-791.

4. Bursik & Grasmick in Neighborhoods and Crime (1993) follow Hunter's separation of local control dynamics into private, parochial, and public. How does collective efficacy address the question of spatial scale? In other words, at what geographic scale is it operating?

5. What are "higher order processes" (ch. 10) and, more importantly, how do they work? He calls these "extralocal" or "extraneighborhood" processes. [For you geographic types, what is happening with spatial heterogeneity?]

6. If community characteristics are affecting what are in essence individual level outcomes, like victimization or homicide, how is the community “getting into” individuals? Or is this a completely macrolevel theory, just about community level inputs and community level outputs?