‘Seeing’ minorities and perceptions of disorder: explicating the mediating and moderating mechanisms of social cohesion

Wickes, Rebecca, Hipp, John R., Zahnow, Renee and Mazerolle, Lorraine (2013) ‘Seeing’ minorities and perceptions of disorder: explicating the mediating and moderating mechanisms of social cohesion. Criminology, 51 3: 519-560. doi:10.1111/1745-9125.12011

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Author Wickes, Rebecca
Hipp, John R.
Zahnow, Renee
Mazerolle, Lorraine
Title ‘Seeing’ minorities and perceptions of disorder: explicating the mediating and moderating mechanisms of social cohesion
Journal name Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0011-1384
Publication date 2013-08-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1745-9125.12011
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 51
Issue 3
Start page 519
End page 560
Total pages 42
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 2734 Pathology and Forensic Medicine
3308 Law
Abstract Research shows that residents report high levels of disorder in places with greater concentrations of minorities even after controlling for objective indicators of crime or disorder. Less understood, however, are the mechanisms that explain this relationship. Drawing on a survey of nearly 10,000 residents nested within 297 neighborhoods across two cities, we use a multiple indicators-multiple causes model to examine the cues that lead individuals to distort the presence of minorities in neighborhoods. We then employ multilevel models to test whether these distortions influence perceptions of disorder. Furthermore, we assess whether living in a socially cohesive neighborhood mediates and/or moderates the relationship between "seeing" minorities and perceiving disorder. We find that when residents overestimate the proportion of minorities living in their neighborhood, perceptions of disorder are heightened. Yet social cohesion moderates and partially mediates this relationship: Residents living in socially cohesive neighborhoods not only report less disorder than those living in less cohesive communities, but also they "see" fewer minorities when compared with residents living in less socially cohesive neighborhoods. These results suggest that social cohesion is an important mechanism for explaining how residents internalize the presence of minorities in their neighborhoods and how this then leads to perceived neighborhood disorder.
Keyword Disorder
Social cohesion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Author Renee Zhanow's surname is spelt incorrectly in the published journal.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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