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The Quality of Low-Income Neighborhoods in Jackson, Mississippi: The Residents' Viewpoints

Olurominiyi O. Ibitayo
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Vol. 25, No. 2 (1999), pp. 97-125
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23263371
Page Count: 29
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Quality of Low-Income Neighborhoods in Jackson, Mississippi: The Residents' Viewpoints
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Abstract

An impoverished neighborhood implies more than a concentration of poor citizens. These neighborhoods are often inundated with severe physical, social and economic disadvantages. If left unchecked, the deterioration of poverty neighborhoods can lead to the development of a permanent criminal and economic underclass. Developing program/policies to stem the deterioration requires a comprehensive information about the neighborhoods especially from the perspectives of the residents. Also, more attention, needs to be focused on non-global cities and neighborhoods that have not deteriorated to the extent of being listed in the worst-case category. This study is therefore designed to investigate the perceptions of the residents of low-income neighborhoods in the city of Jackson, Mississippi regarding any trends in the quality of their neighborhoods. The results of this study indicate that the respondents' perceptions of the trend of crime level are high and pervasive irrespective of gender or tenure status (renters or homeowners). Neighbor friendliness was perceived positively as most of the respondents identified this variable as what they like most about their neighborhoods. Also, some physical neighborhood characteristics are perceived negatively while the perceptions of the trend of police services are not overtly negative. The results suggest that perceptions of high crime levels does not necessarily translate to negative perceptions of police services. Also, while the use or installation of security devices may be an accurate correlate of crime perceptions for homeowners, the same may not be true for renters. A confluence of three factors — neighbor friendliness, perceptions of high crime level, and the relatively positive ratings for police services suggest that community anti-crime activities can be initiated in these neighborhoods.

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