Urban poverty and neighborhood effects on crime: Incorporating spatial and network perspectives

Corina Graif, Andrew S. Gladfelter, Stephen A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Research on neighborhoods and crime is on a remarkable growth trajectory. In this article, we survey important recent developments in the scholarship on neighborhood effects and the spatial stratification of poverty and urban crime. We advance the case that, in understanding the impact of neighborhoods and poverty on crime, sociological and criminological research would benefit from expanding the analytical focus from residential neighborhoods to the network of neighborhoods that individuals are exposed to during their daily routine activities. This perspective is supported by re-emerging scholarship on activity spaces and macro-level research on inter-neighborhood connections. We highlight work indicating that non-residential contexts add variation in criminogenic exposure, which in turn influence offending behavior and victimization risk. Also, we draw on recent insights from research on gang violence, social and institutional connections, and spatial mismatch and call for advancements in the scholarship on urban poverty that investigates the salience of inter-neighborhood connections in evaluating the spatial stratification of criminogenic risk for individuals and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1155
Number of pages16
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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