Social Ecology

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  • A neighborhood or area's environ mental conditions that can contribute to people's experiences, including criminality and victimization. Cities, which have urban social ecologies, have higher rates of theft and violence than do suburban and rural communities. The social ecology of an area is charac terized by several concepts, including the level of social disorganization, degree of community fear or siege mentality, level of poverty, and social isolationism. Collective efficacy, or communal trust and a willingness to maintain social control, is also a factor in a neighborhood's social ecology. For example, watching over other people's children is an indicator of social cohesion. The physical environment also comprises a neighborhood's social ecology. For example, well-lit streets versus vacant lots and abandoned buildings contribute to levels of crime ...

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