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broken windows theory

Definitions

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  • proper noun criminology A criminological theory stating that signs of urban decay (e.g. broken windows, graffiti) signal that an area is not monitored, encouraging more destructive criminal behavior.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

After article propounding the theory by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, “Broken Windows”, Atlantic Monthly (March 1982).

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