Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.C.J. in Criminal Justice

Department

Legal Studies

First Advisor

Linda Keena

Second Advisor

Stephen Mallory

Third Advisor

Carl Jensen

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

Social disorganization theory researchers have paid little attention to college and university campuses. To build on this limited research the current study attempted to analyze the incident rates on The University of Mississippi's Oxford campus to ascertain if social disorganization theory explained any variance between the rates of the different types of residence halls. The presence of three different types of residence halls during the 2012-2013 school year, with three different approaches to socialization, created a unique opportunity to study if halls that promoted environments that encouraged social control according to social disorganization theory would have lower incident rates. The three types of halls were traditional, residential colleges, and contemporary halls. They respectively approached socialization through random room assignments, promoting diversity of academic pursuits, and organizing students by academic and other interests. The incidents were categorized as violent, property, and drugs and alcohol, similar to incidents that would be under criminal jurisdiction in traditional neighborhoods. The study found mixed results. There was a statistically significant difference between the traditional hall's incident rates and the rates of both residential colleges and contemporary halls. The non-parametric statistics, however, found no significant difference between the incident rates of the residential colleges and the contemporary halls. Social disorganization theory failed to explain the variance between the rates of the different types of residence halls.

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