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Modeling Violent Crime Rates: A Test of Social Disorganization in the City of Tshwane, South Africa

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 38 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2010 Pages: 446-452
Gregory Dennis Breetzke
Date Published
July 2010
7 pages
This study examined the association of social disorganization and violent crime rates in Tshwane, South Africa.
Tests of social disorganization theory are commonplace in international criminological literature. Indeed a plethora of studies had emerged over the past 70 years examining and extending the theory throughout much of the developed world. The testing, however, of the landmark theory's key propositions in Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, is in its infancy. This study aimed to address this shortcoming by analyzing associations between various census measures of social disorganization and violent crime rates in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. Overall, marginal support was found for the social disorganization theory: violent crime in Tshwane was associated with certain measures of socioeconomic deprivation, and residential mobility. The study not only demonstrated the applicability of certain elements of Western criminological theory to contemporary urban South Africa, but also revealed important differences in the ecological dynamics of violent crime across differing cultural contexts. (Published Abstract)