SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Jorgensen, A. (2010). The sense of belonging in new urban zones of transition. Current Sociology, 58(1), 3–23. Retrieved from

In most modern sociological literature, it is a rarity to find analyses suggesting that social bonds and the sense of belonging can be strong in socially deprived areas. In the classic Chicago tradition of sociology, in the works of Park et al. and in Louis Wirth’s The Ghetto, residential areas are described both as places in which the social bonds are loose and places with strong bonds. However, a focal point in this article is that the sense of place and belonging are related to the type and the quality of local social bonds. The article discusses the sense of belonging in socially deprived areas by using and adapting classic concepts and insights of human ecology as formulated by the classical Chicago sociologists Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess. Recent sociological contributions about belonging and the sense of place, including recent empirical studies on the topic, are also addressed. It is argued that two socially deprived neighbourhoods with identical social profiles measured by traditional sociological variables as average income, educational level, unemployment, ethnicity, welfare benefits, etc., can be very different when it comes to local community and local social networks.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. What argument is the author making in this article?
  2. What conclusion does the author come to regarding the “zone of transition”?

Article 2: Fagan, A., & Wright, E. (2012). The effects of neighborhood context on youth violence and delinquency: Does gender matter? Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 10(1), 64–82. Retrieved from

This study examined the effects of neighborhood structural and social characteristics on offending among girls and boys aged 8 to 17 residing in 80 Chicago neighborhoods. The results demonstrated gender differences in contextual effects, although not in ways predicted by social disorganization theory. Collective efficacy and concentrated disadvantage were not significantly associated with self-reported offending among males. Among females, collective efficacy was related to higher rates of general delinquency and violence, while disadvantage reduced the likelihood of self-reported violence. These outcomes suggest that neighborhoods may impact individual offending in complex ways and highlight the importance of considering gender when researching contextual effects on youth offending.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. How does this study attempt to extend social disorganization theory?
  2. How are the findings in this study inconsistent with findings from previous empirical studies?