Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-26-2023


This dissertation explores the longitudinal relationships between social mobilization, crime, and crime control. The dataset used to explore these relationships combine Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data on crimes known to the police and crime clearances by arrest with decennial census data and data on reported social mobilization events reported in the New York Times between 1964-1995. The data include information from all these sources for over 900 cities in the U.S. Analyses model violent and property crime counts, and well as clearance by arrest rates in the month after the social mobilization events. Results show that social mobilization is often associated with increased crime in the month following the event(s), but this relationship varies based on the grievances of the mobilized populations. Specifically, while most movements increased crime in the following month after the event(s), Civil Rights protests actually decreased crime. Regarding clearances by arrests, generally, movements were not associated with increases or decreases in police aggressiveness in clearing crime. However, the Civil Rights Movement increased arrests for property crime in the month following the event(s). The broad conclusion from this body of work suggests that the relationships between social mobilization, crime, and crime control are not monolithic and that attention should be paid to the specific populations protesting.

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Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Christopher Lyons

Second Committee Member

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Third Committee Member

Reuben Jack Thomas

Fourth Committee Member

Steven Barkan


crime, social movements, clearance, protest, social mobilization, criminology



Document Type