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Social disorganization theory

Developed by researchers at the University of Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s, social disorganization theory    asserts that crime is most likely to occur in communities with weak social ties and the absence of social control. An individual who grows up in a poor neighborhood with high rates of drug use, violence, teenage delinquency, and deprived parenting is more likely to become a criminal than an individual from a wealthy neighborhood with a good school system and families who are involved positively in the community.

A block of run-down, dirty rowhouses is shown.
Proponents of social disorganization theory believe that individuals who grow up in impoverished areas are more likely to participate in deviant or criminal behaviors. (Photo courtesy of Apollo 1758/Wikimedia Commons)

Social disorganization theory points to broad social factors as the cause of deviance. A person isn’t born a criminal but becomes one over time, often based on factors in his or her social environment. Research into social disorganization theory can greatly influence public policy. For instance, studies have found that children from disadvantaged communities who attend preschool programs that teach basic social skills are significantly less likely to engage in criminal activity.

Clifford shaw and henry mckay: cultural deviance theory

Cultural deviance theory suggests that conformity to the prevailing cultural norms of lower-class society causes crime. Researchers Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay (1942) studied crime patterns in Chicago in the early 1900s. They found that violence and crime were at their worst in the middle of the city and gradually decreased the farther someone traveled from the urban center toward the suburbs. Shaw and McKay noticed that this pattern matched the migration patterns of Chicago citizens. New immigrants, many of them poor and lacking knowledge of the English language, lived in neighborhoods inside the city. As the urban population expanded, wealthier people moved to the suburbs and left behind the less privileged.

Shaw and McKay concluded that socioeconomic status correlated to race and ethnicity resulted in a higher crime rate. The mix of cultures and values created a smaller society with different ideas of deviance, and those values and ideas were transferred from generation to generation.

The theory of Shaw and McKay has been further tested and expounded upon by Robert Sampson and Byron Groves (1989). They found that poverty, ethnic diversity, and family disruption in given localities had a strong positive correlation with social disorganization. They also determined that social disorganization was, in turn, associated with high rates of crime and delinquency—or deviance. Recent studies Sampson conducted with Lydia Bean (2006) revealed similar findings. High rates of poverty and single-parent homes correlated with high rates of juvenile violence.

Conflict theory

Conflict theory looks to social and economic factors as the causes of crime and deviance. Unlike functionalists, conflict theorists don’t see these factors as positive functions of society. They see them as evidence of inequality in the system. They also challenge social disorganization theory and control theory and argue that both ignore racial and socioeconomic issues and oversimplify social trends (Akers 1991). Conflict theorists also look for answers to the correlation of gender and race with wealth and crime.

Questions & Answers

who give the concept of negative education
Zahid Reply
Is sociology a good optional subject for upsc
sohit Reply
yes
Albert
yes sociology is a good optional .Even Anu Kumari got rank 2 in 2017 upsc exam with sociology optional.
ANU
thanks for your suggestion
sohit
actually I also want to take sociology optional for upsc
ANU
Woow
Derrick
hello i am new to this subject ... anyone plz explain difference between social and sociological problems ...
Ali
what's Feminism?
samuel Reply
the adocacy on the ground the rights for women in the basis of sexism
Atta
wat is the concept of social living
Sherie Reply
what is egoistic suicide
Ghulam
egoistic suicide is when someone commits suicide as part of not feeling like they belong in society. It is also when someone struggles to find a reason to live and people who do commit egoistic suicide have weak or very little social bonds to their society.
Holly
is it that they dont have the relation with others in the society or they dont try to fit in...or better still they are mostly rejected
Barimah
A social structure is where human beings in a society interact & live together. A social life is seen as an individual's interpersonal relationships within peoples immediate surroundings or general public.
Holly
what is sexism
Gelana Reply
I'm not sure of the exact definition. I will define it as: the sociological term that refers to inequality and bias between the two genders.
Elizabeth
well. it the study is social interaction, and society
EMMANUEL
sexism is the descrimination in the basis of a person's gender.
Albert
what are the main contributions of Emile Durkheim to sociology
Alkemi Reply
what is meant by egoistic suicide
Ghulam
jh
kamran
discuss man's ability to function in the that ensure his survival
Beatrice
what are social facts
Gideon Reply
what is social facts
Gideon
what is social facts
Gideon
social facts: a thing originating in the institutions or culture of a society which affects the behaviour or attitudes of an individual member of that society.
the
So facts are in the institutions or culture of society that affects the behaviour or attitudes of an individual in society.
Holly
what is the scope of introduction to sociology
Ambrose Reply
what is sociol class and how sociol class is achieved
Ghulam
I understand that sociologists study society looking at its pattern. Is the pattern of a society or social world a fixed one? Please help me out.
Jimmy Reply
hi guys,am Eva,its the first am doing sociology. its new to me
evadne Reply
same
Holly
West Midlands UK you
Holly
yh me too
eroll
same here
Justbe
Kingston, Jamaica
evadne
yh and me to
Elizabeth
any input on it
evadne
me too
Abshar
me too😊
the
hlooo
Ghulam
cool
Holly
no its not new for you may be for other
Gelana
what are the types of cultures in sociology
Isreal Reply
can I just have the terms of the different families
Its Reply
Thanks a lot for welcoming me on board as we all interact and learn from each other.
Jimmy
there are many different types of families from two parents & children, single parent which consists of one parent raising one or more children on her/his own. then you the extended family structure from two or more adults who are related, either by blood or marriage, living in the same home.
Holly
important of sociology in the society
Maxine Reply
what are the need of sociology for uneducated people like velliger people who living beside the cities?
Abshar Reply
who is durkheim
Sherie Reply
Émile Durkheim One of the Founding Father (1858-1917) His ideas on the • Division of Labor • Sociological Method • Suicide • Religion
Christopher

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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