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'Fixing Broken Promises?': Neighbourhood Wardens and Social Capital

Adam Crawford
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Adam Crawford: Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, 18 Lyddon Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK, a.crawford@Leed,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 5-6, 957-976

Abstract: This article explores the growing emphasis upon the policing of incivilities and anti-social behaviour, situating this within debates about the role of social capital in the construction and maintenance of social order. It outlines a critique of certain dominant assumptions within debates about social capital, notably with regard to crime and security. Nevertheless, social capital is used as a lens through which to consider some of the questions that confront policing interventions in attempts to promote social order and civic renewal. It suggests that fostering weak social ties, rather than strong bonds of 'togetherness', may be preferable in supporting open and tolerant communities. The article considers the work of neighbourhood wardens and their contribution to fostering social order in deprived neighbourhoods. It draws upon research findings from wardens working in the city of Leeds, highlighting dilemmas regarding their ambiguous roles in relation to community cohesion and policing.

Date: 2006
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