Expository Essay Example on Collective Efficacy Theory and Perceptions of Crime

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896 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Movie review
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The current black Americans and other segregated communities are living in daily suspense. This is contrary to the previous anxiety and freedom. The reality of the situation is too heartbreaking to put into words. The daily activities, care free day at school, attending churches or even normal shopping have been attacked by violent crimes. Our divided city is a documentary examining violent crime in Kansas City targeting the segregated black community and assessing the initiatives taken by the local and national governments to ensure safety of the neighborhood ("Our Divided City", 2017). There exist discrimination in the city based on races and other communities are suffering as a result of skewed distribution of resources and blight. The tittle of the movie literally means that the city is divided along racial affiliations and takes the audience into the story of the increased rates of violence.

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Everybody needs action to be taken by the concerned authorities and yet the prevailing problems are not in any way related to politics. The issue is societal and need to be approached from a social approach but not from the public office which will involve coercion of the locals. Certainly if there was a need to apply force to sort out the issue, it would have been applied by now. It calls for social mitigations to keep guns out of the hands of the 19 year kids. Indeed the issues stem from the systematic issues related to poverty, racism and poverty. On the contrary, however, this does not mean that the local authority lacks the power to sort the issue. It is not. The local authority has the power to tear down the vacant and dangerous homes that litter the eastern side of the city as documented in the movie. They have the power and the authority to beef up the expenditure and the overall wellbeing of those living in the East. On the contrary, the city mayor has chosen to implement policies that advocate for spending money on downtown streetcar and some of the most luxury hotels for the officials and the wealthy. The segregated communities and houses has been a signal to the potential spots of crimes. An abandoned house for instance, emit signals about the lack of social efficacy in the city and has become common in the eastern part of the city as well as the areas where neighbor mid their individual business and in areas where people act as they wish with little or no community disapproval. Subsequently, the segregated communities has served as free homes for the homeless and acts as places of business for the drug peddlers in the city, gang activities and prostitution.

In the documentary, KCPT's Michael Price provides further details of the issues facing Kansas City that affects the overall economic incentives to that are channeled to the wealthy in the city. In relation to social disorganization and collective efficacy, the existing divide in the city is linked to the fact that crime is not the main issue but rather a symptom of insufficient social networks or lack of the collective efficacy in Kansas City. This lack of the collective efficacy attributed to high neighborhood turnover, poverty and diversity has become difficult for the local and national government to address amicably. The existing programs set by the governments to weed out crime have failed in the long run since the main roots of the issues are not addressed. These are collective efficacy or social disorganization in the society. The lack of supervision community involvement and the reduced friendship in Kansas City have been the main cause of the prevailing crime, disorder in neighborhood and skewed distribution of resources by the local government.

The journey towards finding a sustainable solution to such crimes and segregation is complicated just like the existing complications between geographic and social variables in the city. In the documentary, various issues are addressed. First, the focus is within a larger environment that needs to be understood when analyzing the prevailing crime. The micro-level contributors like economics plays a significant aspect in crime trends in the city overtime and must be put into consideration when examining the overall crimes and racial discrimination issues in Kansas City. In this case, therefore, ignoring the micro-level aspect influences from the complete picture in finding a sustainable solution to the prevailing issues that lead to social disorganization and collective efficacy. Secondly, the individual decisions and behaviours can only benefit the individuals but not to the neighborhood in mitigating social disorganization in Kansas City. Thirdly, the existing structural component of neighborhood forms an essential component in understanding the prevailing social issues and how they affect the physical space in the city (Battin, 2015). This means, therefore, that understanding the relationship between the social variables and the geography in Kansas is complicated and in various ways reciprocal in nature.

In a nutshell, therefore, the documentary seeks to end the senseless homicide and the violent crimes that are committed by the minority groups in the city. This involves working together with all the involved parties like never before and sending a clear message to everybody that violent criminal ruins neighborhood, families and the entire city.


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Battin, J. R. (2015). Collective efficacy theory and perceptions of crime: Documenting neighborhood context effects.

Our Divided City. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 7 March 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJS9aPW8kd4

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