Broken Windows

Keizer et al: The Spreading of Disorder

It’s not often A-level students get the chance to read original source documents, but Wilson and Kelling’s Atlantic Magazine article – the one that kicked-off “Broken Windows” – is on-line, relatively short and surprisingly accessible.

If you want to dig deeper into the notion of Social Disorder and Crime, Keizer’s simple, but evocative, empirical study might help.

In addition, Bratton and Kelling’s (2014) defence of Zero Tolerance Policing provides some useful evaluative material for students. Sullivan and O’Keeffe’s (2017) “Evidence that curtailing proactive policing can reduce major crime” does,  however, provide a very convincing empirical critique of Bratton and Kelling’s basic argument that Zero Tolerance Policing does prevent major forms of criminality in their natural experiment that looked at the impact on major crime of a “work to rule” in the NYPD. While the research will probably need some interpretation for most A-level students, their conclusions are worth the effort…

If you’re more-visually inclined, a short film outlining the basic concepts underpinning “Broken Windows” is available on the Crime and Deviance Channel.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling a bit flush our recent film looking at Broken Windows in the context of Right Realism – Space, Place and (Broken) Windows – is available to buy or rent at Very Reasonable Prices (it says here).

Sociology: Space, Place and (Broken) Windows from ShortCutstv on Vimeo.

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