Radil et al 2010

This study takes on quite a difficult task, in that it attempts to quantitatively analyze a social system while simultaneously using two distinct concepts of space. In this case, the gang rivalries correlated for the most part with the geographic proximity of the gangs. I think the utility of this approach would have been more obvious if the spatiality of rivalries and geographic proximity were much more divergent. The fact that gangs were usually embedded with and structurally equivalent with neighboring gangs makes the results appear underwhelming. However, certain exceptions, such as the existence of a center-periphery geography in the northern part of Hollenbeck, as well as the condition of “betweenness” being associated with more violence, exemplify the exceptions to the norm that would be difficult to discern without this kind of analysis. I struggled to grasp which stage it was that social networks and geographic space were combined. When using CONCOR to make the dendogram, did both location and gang rivalry influence which position each gang was placed in? An aim of this study was to quantify the interaction between the two spatialities, but it seems to me that the network positions are themselves quantified, but their comparison to the geographic positions is only qualitative, i.e. “north-south” and “center-periphery”, and that these characteristics were determined visually. Nevertheless, these types of qualitative characterizations should still be immensely useful in predicting gang behavior. This type of analysis could potentially perform any combination of spatialities, including those in which neither of the two spatialities is geographic space.


Comments are closed.