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Lecture 4

SOCY 275 week 4.docx

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SOCY 275
Vincent F Sacco

September 30, 2013 Social Disorganization  There seems to be more deviance in some places than others  The questions that ecological theories ask are why is that? A question that crosses the boundaries of sociology and geography  Deviance occurs within a particular context, and seems to arise in some communities over others The logic of ecological explanations  General points of ecologically theory  Theses theories try to explain the causes of crime and deviance in reference to environmental factors, which make such behaviour more or less likely. This means that such theories attempt to make sense of the spatial distribution of prohibited behaviour  What is it about the way in which the ecological niche produces higher or lower levels of non-conformity?  Intuitive character of ecological theory  That such behaviour has a spatial distribution makes a great deal of intuitive sense. We know from even casual observation that there are areas of the city where crime and alcohol and other drugs are more of a problem.. When we talk of dangerous neighbourhoods or “the bad part of town” we are implicitly making ecological observations Cities and Deviance  Most familiar and answer given by Louis Wirth  The determinist view  Size, density and heterogeneity of city life  Personal and social disorganization  If we talk about any forms of deviance and crimes, we see several different types of people in the way they dress and act in public  If you take every type of deviance you can find it in big cities  This is not because there are more people but because the rate of this is higher  If we look at the positive kinds of deviance (musical innovation, new fashion and art) almost all of those seem to appear in big cities as well  This is why many people go to the city, the richness of its cultural variations  What is it about city life that seems to increase the propensity of people to be deviant in both a positive and negative way?  Louis Wirth was part of what came to be the Chicago School of Sociology, which is heart of sociological ecological studies, and it’s relationship to non-conformity studies  He is not very interest in positive deviance, only negative  There is more of everything!  His argument is the deterministic position (urban determinism)  I think its affects a person to live in a big city. There are aspects of city life that have an influence over your approach to living. And living in a big city is a qualitative difference that living in a small town. Because a big city has certain characteristics that continual pound you on a daily life  3 characteristics of big cities 1. Size 2. Heterogeneity (diversity) 3. Density  If you live in a big city, and walk out your front door, you are stimulated to a huge amount of information. You pass dozens of people who are not only strangers but cultural strangers, there are lights, movement, traffic. There is too much stimuli that we have to try and stop it all from getting into our head  If we do not do this it will lead to social disorganization and personal disorganization  It become to hard to maintain everything without going into insanity, but through cutting out noise and stimuli, we also probably cut out some friendliness, we can’t have relationships with everyone, and we can’t help everyone. We must filter stuff and people out and while doing this we create a degree of social disorganization  Wirth says that urbanites have to channel everything out because it become risky behaviour and this leads to a disconnect Herbert Gans  Came up with the idea urban composition  He lives there for a while and that writes a book saying, Wirth was just wrong; city life is not life this, and it doesn’t produce those effects, even though it appears to  His book “the urban villages”  People do not actually live in cities; they live in neighbourhoods, like village, so essentially villages within cities  Gans sees no evidence of people being disconnected with each other, or that they have friends, and this is all contextualized within there little village  Wirth thinks the city makes people incapable of connections, Gans says this is not true  There definatley are difference between big city people and small towns, people from big cities are more likely to have a whole range of life issus  Wirth says the city screw you up  Gans says it’s a compositional effect: People who can afford to move do so, so the type of person left, are the elderly to don’t want to move, and those who make less money  The importance of population composition  The Age  Social Class Claude Fischer  Subcultural theory or urbanisms  Size matters in the opposite matter than Wirth, he says it builds social worlds up  Suppose 1 person in 1000 think that the earth has been visited by Aliens, if you live in a town of 1000 people you are it, if you are in a city of a million, that you have 1000 Alien believes, with that you can start an entire organization and support each other in the belief  What the absolute size of the city does is allow subcultures to develop  The city collects those with subcultural beliefs and behaviours, and the small town rid themselves of it  They can gain institutional closure, and become part of something  Big cities are different place because we are connected to each other in the context of these subcultural groups  When comparing cities and towns, they are different and always will be  Population size and subcultural development  Institutional completeness  Cross-fertilization of subculture  What happens in these extremist groups is, because they are such big organizations, they rub against each other, and become defensive and end up become even closer and more tight-nit as a group  Than what happens is cross-fertilization, there is constantly a movement of cultural traits, and the reproduce new cultural forms together because they are living and moving together, for example when two forms of music come together and you get entire new types music  A merger of the ideas of Wirth and Gans  Come to the conclusion are wrong and right, but it a different way that they thought  Ideas come from the city and move outwards, and when the time they make it to the small towns, the cities are onto something new  The reason Wirth though big city people were unfriendly because he failed to distinguish between public and private life, and an Urbanite acts differently in their different worlds  The urbanite has gained a different interactional style in public than in private, subconsciously living a double life  Within private worlds, show little to no difference between big and small towns  There are different kinds of crime, theft, violence and public order crime, property crime  Historically 2 of those are always bigger in big cities  Public order crime are always more common in big cities  Both those crimes are a market and there is a network for it in cities where there is not on in small town  Violence requires no personal market it is a personal offence October 3 2013 Neighbourhoods and Social Disorganization  The contributions of Shaw and McKAy and the members of the Chicago School  As one moves from the center of the city to the outlying suburbs, rate of delinquent behaviour decline  As on moved from the center of the critic to the outlying suburbs, rates of truancy, mental illness, infant mortality, and eve tuberculosis also declines  Importantly, Shaw and McKay also found that theses various forms of “social pathology’ or deviant behaviour were unrelated to changes in ethnic population
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