American Sociological Association

Studentification and Disorder in a College Town

This study uses interview and focus group data to examine how residents perceive and cope with studentification, disorder, and neighbor conflict in a college town. First, we find that nonstudent residents perceive studentification as the cause of neighborhood decline, but mainly blame larger forces and local actors, such as the university, city officials, and local developers, rather than the students. Second, we find that one way that residents adapt to disorder is by using active strategies to defend their neighborhoods, but they believe this role has been forced upon them by the failure of social institutions to address the local problems. Third, given the limited effectiveness of social control efforts and given the structural barriers to fostering order, residents have come to adopt passive strategies that normalize disorder and allow them to avoid further conflict with neighbors.


Rachael A. Woldoff and Karen G. Weiss





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