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Experiences of community mobilization in the Americas: investigating social disorganization and collective effectiveness through Americas' barometer data

Grant number: 16/15899-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal researcher:Marta Teresa da Silva Arretche
Grantee:Valeria Cristina de Oliveira
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07616-7 - CEM - Center for Metropolitan Studies, AP.CEPID


This post-doctoral internship project suggests an empirical analysis based on the approaches of Social Disorganization and Collective Efficacy, with the empirical counterpoint of international quantitative data. The proposal is to make use of individual perception survey results on issues related to political participation, victimization and social mobilization to discuss to what extent there are international differences in the expectation of intervention on local public issues.Inspired by the fundamental work of the Chicago School in the early twentieth century, the theory of Social Disorganization maintains that structural aspects of community interactions interfere with the self-regulation capacity and, consequently, contribute to the control of crime rates, violence and acts deviants committed in the neighborhood. The concern of this initial model and therefore the readings he won in the following years was to investigate the phenomenon of concentration of crime and delinquency in a few areas of large cities. The key, they said, would be found in the fact that these areas include elements that disrupte social ties and social control in such communities, making them more exposed to the action of possible external criminals and also the development of deviant behavior among the residents themselves.The theory of collective efficacy, developed by Robert Sampson, arises in this context as the most successful reinterpretation of the Social Disorganization approach. Its differential is the measurement of the concepts of social cohesion and informal social control, highlighting the role of the expectation of Community intervention in the development of the effectiveness of a group. These new air also led the discussion to other regions of the world, making the collective efficacy an important category in the academic production within and outside the United States.The approaches of Social Disorganization and specifically the Collective Efficacy, have proven fairly consistent when applied to the investigation of phenomena such as crime and victimization in North American urban areas. The challenge has been to assess to what extent the proposed theoretical and methodological strategies adopted to justify the relevance of social disorganization theory in the United States are also applicable to countries such as in Latin America.The exercise is to check under what circumstances the density of the social ties is transformed into more provision for collective action on local behavior and, consequently, more quality of life in countries marked by economic inequality, distrust of public institutions and lack of access to services. In common, Brazilian and other Latin American countries research corroborated the problems with associating elements such as cohesion and the expectation of informal social control to crime control, which are linked to greater reliance on government motivating or engaging directly intervention. Thus, the difficulty in building Collective Efficacy or informal social control in Latin America - even in large environments cohesion, seems to be a consequence of the absence of a State bound duty, which is reflected in the lack of legitimacy of its public institutions control social and thus the willingness to act on collective problems. (AU)

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