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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

what is social change
Maryann Reply
Social change in sociology is the alteration of mechanisms within the social structure, characterized by changes in cultural symbols, rules of behaviour, social organizations, or value systems.
derickamishae
a social change is the difference of material objects and the attitude of using such things along the time and space .
Aqeel
Also collective behavior and social movements are just two of the forces driving social change, which is the change in society created through social movements as well as external factors like environmental shifts or technological innovations. Essentially, any disruptive shift in the status quo.
derickamishae
Derickamishae Thomas,you are corect about social change
Aqeel
I also think social change is when groups of individual at a certain period can no longer adapt with the current structure they find themselves in the society& decides to come together to bring about about a different social structure that would or could be of benefit to them.
Rabi
Can anyone tell me in urdu plzzz?
Shahid
about what thing
Ayaz
@Ayaz Allai. ..about social change?
Shahid
what is methodology?
Silent
Advantage of Extended family over Nuclear family
Patricia Reply
nuclear family means a maried cuple live with unmaried childrens
Aqeel Reply
what are nuclear and non nuclear families?
Syed Reply
nuclear family mean , a maried cuple live with there unmaried children
Aqeel
 extended family group consists of non-nuclear(or "non-immediate") family members considered together with nuclear (or "immediate") familymembers.
Aqeel
sir, a joint family would be considered non nuclear?
Syed
yes offcourse,
Aqeel
Basic features of evolutionary theory
Krishna Reply
previous limits of engineering not yet almost surpassed
Matthew
what is collective behavior
Owais Reply
what is slavery?
naveed Reply
what is stratification
naveed
what are the common characteristics in the early studies carried by anthropologist
justus Reply
How can we define symbolic interaction in family?
hafsa Reply
how does technology impact the soceity?
Lizzy Reply
technology impulse the society to change its manners . bcz society cannot b live without. it has to adopt technology with it's new trend.
Sajjad
who can tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed Reply
who cn tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed
helps in being analytical and prevents too much bias in our observations
Rabi
please someone should elaborate on gerontology..
onoja Reply
study of ageing proccess is called gerontology...
Ayaz
why is sociology a science
Joseph Reply
Because its study human individual, group and the society
Baba
b/c the subject matter of sociology is the behavior of human being and society ...and sociology studies these under sceintific method ...empiricaly and clearly...it include all scientific method in its every study level...... 1.observation 2.research or literature reveiw 3.hypothesis 4.testing 5.th
Ayaz
5.theory sociology solve every problem with the help of above methods ...and it is clear that subject which solve any problem by such method is science..
Ayaz
it is a systematically study of human behaviour. sociology is a science bcoz it search the fact behind the behaviour.
derhagwara
socialogy as prospective? explain.
Natasha Reply
sorry i dont know you explain plz
Tariq
I think it is about sociologist view I just want to confirm it
Natasha
sociology as a perspective is about how different schools of thought views the society by providing explanation&process involved in analysing the society. there are basically 3 perspectives in sociology functionalists conflict interactionist perspectives .I take it, that's what you're asking, yes?
Rabi
what is interaction ritual chain
Rabi
Negative impact of family in the Society
Bode Reply
when the family does not pamper their offspring properly it badly effects the society....with my piont of veiw....
Ayaz
can you give me answers please
Bode
negative impact the way people treat badly 😔 with other people
Natasha
what is Florida? plz explain
Hashim
when a family impose outside thoughts on the society or thinking intraward, not take care the principles of society.
Sajjad
This is not a question...?
Matthew
what is the benefits of sociological imagination
mugunda
The Sociological imagination provides a framework for understanding our social world that far surpasses any common sense notion we might derive from our limited social experiences.
hasnain
thanks but I need more points if you have
mugunda
The sociological imagination kind of critical thinking helps to understand other people. It provides clues to the reason why a given person is under-educated, or unable to secure employment. It promotes analytical thinking and identification with the specifics of another person's social situation
Sajjad

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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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