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Otto wrote:The writer sure used a roundabout way to make a point that had nothing to do with the example used.
I smell reefer.
The Broken Window Theory explains this, and tells us that behaviour is a function of social context.
Thus, Giuliani's "zero-tolerance" roll out was part of an interlocking set of wider reforms, crucial parts of which had been underway since 1985. Giuliani had the police more strictly enforce the law against subway fare evasion, public drinking, urination, and the "squeegee men" who had been wiping windshields of stopped cars and demanding payment. According to the 2001 study of crime trends in New York by George Kelling and William Sousa, rates of both petty and serious crime fell suddenly and significantly, and continued to drop for the following ten years.
Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist, reported in 1969 on some experiments testing the broken-window theory. He arranged to have an automobile without license plates parked with its hood up on a street in the Bronx and a comparable automobile on a street in Palo Alto, California.
The car in the Bronx was attacked by "vandals" within ten minutes of its "abandonment." The first to arrive were a family--father, mother, and young son--who removed the radiator and battery. Within twenty-four hours, virtually everything of value had been removed. Then random destruction began--windows were smashed, parts torn off, upholstery ripped. Children began to use the car as a playground. Most of the adult "vandals" were well-dressed, apparently clean-cut whites.
The car in Palo Alto sat untouched for more than a week. Then Zimbardo smashed part of it with a sledgehammer. Soon, passersby were joining in. Within a few hours, the car had been turned upside down and utterly destroyed. Again, the "vandals" appeared to be primarily respectable whites.
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