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The Chicago School Emphasis on “ecology of crime” The root of control / social learning Social Disorganization Theory.

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Presentation on theme: "The Chicago School Emphasis on “ecology of crime” The root of control / social learning Social Disorganization Theory."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Chicago School Emphasis on “ecology of crime” The root of control / social learning Social Disorganization Theory

2 Chicago School University of Chicago –Department of Sociology (but others also) Social Context –Chicago as a microcosm of change in America –“Individual (especially biological) explanations seemed foolish

3 Earnest Burgess How does a city growth and develop? Concentric Zones Industrial zone Zone in transition Residential zones

4 Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay Juvenile Delinquency in Urban Areas –Mapped addresses of delinquents (court records) –Zone in transition stable and high delinquency rates Even through occupied by different waves of immigrants!! –Therefore, not “feeble minded” immigrants Something about this area causes delinquency

5 Social Disorganization What were the characteristics of the zone in transition that may cause high delinquency rates? –Population Heterogeneity –Transient Population –Physical Decay –Poverty/Inequality Why might these ecological characteristics lead to high crime rates? –Shaw and McKay not clear on this point…delinquent values…lack of control?

6 Shaw and McKay II Why are the crime rates stable in the zone of transition? 1. Cultural Transmission of Values Roots of Sutherland’s Differential Association (micro) and Subculture of violence theories (macro) 2. Lack of Informal Social Control Roots of control theories (micro) and modern social disorganization (macro)

7 Social Disorganization Fell out of favor in sociology Individual theories gained popularity –Hirschi (1969); Burgess and Akers (1968)… Criticisms of Social Disorganization –Are these neighborhoods really “disorganized?” –Cannot measure “intervening variables” –Cannot get neighborhood level variables –“Chicago Specific”

8 Modern S.D. Theory Interest rekindled in the 1980s (continues today). Sampson and Groves (1989) –Social disorganization as a social control theory –Ecological characteristics social control Population turnoverStreet supervision Poverty / inequality Collective efficacy Divorce rates / single parentsFriendship networks

9 Sampson and Groves Brittish Crime Survey Data (BCS) –Survey done based on neighborhood, so neighborhood measures of: Poverty, Family disruption, Residential Mobility AND Supervision of street corners, friendship networks,participation in community organizations

10 Sampson (1997) Replicated results in Chicago –In areas with “concentrated poverty,” communities lack “collective efficacy” –Lack of collective efficacy increases crime rates How cities grow not that important Racial barriers disrupted “natural flow” Rekindle “delinquent culture” ideas

11 Macro (Ecological) level Theory Neighborhood level theory –Explains why certain neighborhoods have high crime rates –NOT an individual level theory Avoid “Ecological Fallacy”

12 Policy Implications? Build neighborhood “collective efficacy” –How do you do this? Address ecological characteristics that ruin collective efficacy –Family disruption, concentrated poverty, residential mobility

13 Note the “Control Theory Assumption” in S.D. Unless controlled, delinquency will fester in neighborhoods –Similar to individual level control theory –Different from Anomie theory


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