Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Cecil Greek

Keywords

Activism, Collective Efficacy, Crime, Gun Violence, Poverty, Social Capital

Abstract

Abstract

This study explains how community activists make use of available social capital and collective efficacy while attempting to mediate gun violence. It specifically focuses on twelve in-depth interviews of activists' perspectives, processes and rationales to alleviate community gun violence, based on informal social control models. Findings suggest activists must establish trust and respect with youth they work with before mediation begins, which is established through similar life experiences or backgrounds. Once a strong bond is established with youth, activists identified five core processes to reduce violence: 1) improve the mindset, 2) provide life skills, 3) assist youth as their liaison between networks, 4) expose and provide tools to other opportunities such as college or jobs, and 5) activists challenge system policy that they feel contributes to Chicago's gun violence.

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