Generating action and responding to local issues: Collective efficacy in context

Wickes, Rebecca L. (2010) Generating action and responding to local issues: Collective efficacy in context. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 43 3: 423-443. doi:10.1375/acri.43.3.423

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Author Wickes, Rebecca L.
Title Generating action and responding to local issues: Collective efficacy in context
Journal name The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8658
Publication date 2010-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1375/acri.43.3.423
Volume 43
Issue 3
Start page 423
End page 443
Total pages 21
Place of publication Bowen Hills, Qld, Australia
Publisher Australian Academic Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Recent research suggests that communities can be collectively efficacious without dense networks and kith and kinship relations. Yet few studies examine how collective efficacy is generated and sustained in the absence of close social ties. Using in-depth interviews with local residents and key stakeholders in two collectively efficacious suburbs in Brisbane, Australia, this study explores the role of social ties and networks in shaping residents' sense of active engagement and perceptions of community capacity. Results suggest that strong social bonds among residents are not necessary for the development of social cohesion and informal social control. Instead, collective representations or symbols of ‘community’ provide residents with a sense of social cohesion, trust and a perceived willingness of others to respond to problems of crime and disorder. Yet there is limited evidence that these collectively efficacious communities comprise actively engaged residents. In both communities, participants report a strong reliance on key institutions and organisations to manage and respond to a variety of problems, from neighbourhood nuisances to crime and disorder. These findings suggest a more a nuanced understanding of collective efficacy theory is needed.
Keyword Collective efficacy
Social networks
Crime prevention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Jan 2011, 00:31:37 EST by Debbie Lim on behalf of School of Social Science