Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review

Document Type



There is a tendency for sociologists and criminologists to study crime in urban contexts rather than in rural areas and places outside small towns. Therefore, some suspect that theories of urban crime do not necessarily fit these rural areas. For example, collective efficacy in urban neighborhoods has been found to be inversely related to crime and fear of crime. In rural areas, this connection has been difficult to study because rural places are structured differently than urban neighborhoods. In this study, we expand the notions of collective efficacy in neighborhoods by introducing community dynamics. We show how latent psychodynamic processes that occur in rural places affect the likelihood that crime will occur and that residents will be fearful. Using a social media survey of residents in rural West Virginia, we examine the impact of local community dynamics on the risk of crime and fear of crime

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Sociology Commons



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