How Collective Is Collective Efficacy? the Importance of Consensus in Judgments about Community Cohesion

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 00:00
Oral Presentation
Ian Brutnon-Smith BRUNTON-SMITH, University of Surrey, United Kingdom
Patrick STURGIS, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
George LECKIE, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Existing studies have generally measured collective efficacy by combining survey respondent ratings of the local area into an overall summary for each neighborhood, resulting in a substantive focus on variation in its average between neighborhoods. In this paper, we focus on the variability in consensus of collective efficacy judgments. To account for differential consensus amongst residents, we use a mixed-effects location scale model, with variability in the consensus of judgments treated as an additional neighborhood-level random effect. Our results confirm that neighborhoods differ, not just in their overall levels of collective efficacy, but also in the extent to which residents agree with one another in their assessments. In accord with findings for US cities, our results show consensus in collective efficacy assessments is affected by the ethnic composition of neighborhoods in London. Additionally, we show that heterogeneity in collective efficacy assessments is consequential, with higher levels of criminal victimization, worry about crime, and risk avoidance behavior in areas where collective efficacy consensus is low.