Document Type



Whereas existing research typically treats variability in residents’ reports of collective efficacy and neighboring as measurement error, the authors consider such variability as of substantive interest in itself. This variability may indicate disagreement among residents with implications for the neighborhood collectivity. The authors propose using a general measure of social distance based on several social dimensions (rather than measures based on a single dimension such as racial/ethnic heterogeneity or income inequality) to help understand this variability in assessments. The authors use data from wave I (2001) of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (n = 3,570) to aggregate respondents into egohoods of two different sizes: quarter-mile and half-mile radii. Consistent with expectations, neighborhoods with higher levels of general social distance have higher variability in reports of neighboring and the two components of collective efficacy, cohesion and informal social control.

Publication Date

January 2018

Publication Title

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World





Included in

Criminology Commons