Local Social Control
This chapter examines how local culture mediates the impact of neighborhood heterogeneity on social organization. Social diversity presents challenges for local social control. There is considerable variation in residents’ everyday on-the-block practices and these differences sometimes produce tension and conflict. This chapter details the links between neighborhood frames and residents' strategies for reading and responding to difference. Mainstream notions of what constitutes crime (that which is illegal) and how to address it (call the police) run up against flexible conduct norms and a preference for informal, direct strategies of social control. Residents are able to maintain relative stability and contain crime without insisting on assimilation to “mainstream” (raced and classed) standards. The chapter considers how difference negotiation practices map onto processes of social inclusion and exclusion.
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