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Neighborhood Violence and the Age Structure of Peer Networks: Socialization of Adolescent Boys in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionHarding, David J. 2005. "Neighborhood Violence and the Age Structure of Peer Networks: Socialization of Adolescent Boys in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods." PSC Research Report No. 05-586. December 2005.

Though violence has long been studied as a consequence of neighborhood disadvantage, its effects on the social and cultural dynamics of neighborhoods have received less attention. This analysis proposes that neighborhood violence is a mechanism by which disadvantaged neighborhoods affect adolescents in seemingly unrelated domains such as schooling and fertility. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 60 adolescent boys in three neighborhoods in Boston, I argue that the organization of neighborhood-based violence affects the age structure of peer networks, and that interactions with older peers expose adolescents to local, unconventional cultural models. Implications for theories of neighborhood effects are discussed.

Country of focus: United States.

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