A Bronx Tale: Lessons on Community and Police from 10 Years of Systematic Social Observations

  • Andres F. RengifoEmail author
  • Cherrell Green
  • Lee Ann Slocum
  • Aaron Ho


This chapter highlights strengths and challenges of fieldwork-based research based on Systematic Social Observations (SSO). More specifically, we share five “lessons” derived from our own work in the Bronx that relies on SSO collected across three waves of data collection between 2005 and 2015: (1) as neighborhoods change, so must data collection protocols; (2) counting things is tricky; (3) fieldwork is not for everyone; (4) you’re not invisible; and (5) be open to new ideas. We conclude by reflecting on how SSO may contribute to future ethnographic research on community life and police behavior.


Systematic observation Fieldwork Disorder Community organization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andres F. Rengifo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cherrell Green
    • 2
  • Lee Ann Slocum
    • 2
  • Aaron Ho
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Missouri-St LouisSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Criminal JusticeJersey City UniversityJersey CityUSA

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