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A critique on Wilson and Kelling, entitled 'Broken Windows' - Essay Example

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The overall impression of the article “Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety,” was that it adhered well to the theme. The overall theme reflects the title – “Broken windows.”…
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A critique on Wilson and Kelling, entitled 'Broken Windows'

Download file to see previous pages... This is because, if one broken window is allowed to stay broken without being fixed, the conclusion is that people just don’t care about that one broken window. So, they will break the rest of the windows because it is “fun.” The same goes for a car that was put into two different neighborhoods, with no license plate and the hood up. In the Bronx, this car was immediately stripped, then vandalized. In Palo Alto, California, the car was left alone until the researcher took a sledgehammer to the car and then left it there on the street. Once the researcher took the sledgehammer to the car to damage it, others soon followed suit and vandalized it. In the real world, the theme of broken windows was carried to mean that if “little” things are left to fester – vagrants, rowdy kids, etc. – then it is only a matter of time before the whole neighborhood goes to pot, as keeping control of the small things is key to making the neighborhood believe that somebody cares, and, if somebody cares, then the neighborhood is less likely to become a crime-ridden enclave. So, this is the basic theme. Discussion Did the article adhere to the theme? It did adhere to the theme, and expanded upon it....
That there is a link between disorderly behavior and the fear of violent crime is another expansion of the theme. The theme is also expanded to the talk about vigilantism, in that this is one way that the citizens of the neighborhoods may take it upon themselves to enforce community norms and order. Throughout the article, there was an expansion of the theme – for instance, there is the wish by some that we should leave people alone if they are involved in a victimless crime, such as prostitution or vagrancy. The article states that this is short-sighted, because this kind of behavior results in less order for the neighborhood, and the neighborhood might disintegrate because of it. There is the example of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, where the relations between police and residents deteriorated, and, as a result, the crime rates in this project soared. Now, the police relations are improved with the residents, and the police are kicking out gang members. This gives the residents hope that they are not defenseless, and the police are on their side, so they feel more safe and secure. These are all good supporting details regarding the theme of perception of safety, which relates to the broken window – if there is a perception of disorder, then more disorder will follow. If there is a perception of safety, then this emboldens the residents and makes them feel safe and that somebody cares. There was one area of the article that was difficult to follow. This was the part of the article that talks about the individualistic nature of enforcing rights. The paragraph came right after a paragraph that talks about how police can enforce social control mechanisms to minimize fear of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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