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CRIM 104 (315)
Lecture

The Chicago School and Social Disorganization Theory.docx

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Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 104
Professor
Barry Cartwright
Semester
Winter

Description
Earlier Theories of Crime: - Located the source of crime within the individual: o The soul o The body o The mind o The genes - Did not really look at influence of social environment Social Context of the Chicago School: - Cities grew at rapid rate during later half of 1800s - 1790-1890: urban population increased 139 times - Chicago: 4,100 residents in 1833; one million in 1890; two million in 1910 - City grew through successive waves of immigrants - Also grew through displaced farm workers and blacks moving through rural south - Laborers putting in 12 hour days, 6 days a week - Low wages, living on slums The Progressive Movement: - Emerged in early 1900s - Rejected social Darwinism’s notion that “the poor” were biologically inferior - Claimed that people were poor because of social environment - Criticized the human costs of unbridled economic growth - Argued that “The American Dream” did not reach the slums and the ghettos - Believed that social reform was the answer - Believed that the government could be trusted to carry it out The Chicago School: - Sociology department at University of Chicago was the first one in US (1892) - Chicago school gave rise to: o Thomas and Znaniecki’s social disorganization theory o Cooley, Thomas and Mead’s symbolic interactionism o Park and Burgess’ concentric zone theory o Edwin Sutherland’s differential association theory o Becker’s labelling theory o Akers’ social learning theory The Ecological School: - Chicago school also referred to as the ecological school because of its “ecological” studies - Chicago school saw city as a natural human environment, or as microcosm of humanity - Emphasized the study of humans in their natural social environment – i.e. the city - Emphasized importance of “life histories” or “ethnographies” – observing people in their natural habitat, listening to their own stories The Web of Life: - Symbiosis = mutual independence, necessary for organisms to survive in a particular environment - Also have invasion, dominance and succession (balance of nature changes) The Polish Peasant in Europe and America: - Title of 1920 book by W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki - W.I. Thomas did PHD at University of Chicago, taught sociology at University of Chicago for many years - Florian Znaniecki (from Poland), founded the Polish Sociological Institute after WWI, later became President of American Sociological Society (Lemert, 1993, pp.267-268) The Polish Peasant in Europe and America – Chapter 3: - Thomas and Znaniecki examined letters, diaries and personal documents of Polish peasants who had immigrated to large American cities (Deutschmann, 2002, p.219) - Delved into clash between old world customs and the realities of crowded urban centers - Concluded that social disorganization happens in all societies during periods of rapid social change, especially when combined with mass migration (Traub and Little, 1985, p.42) The Hobo: The Sociology of the Homeless Man: - Title of 1923 ethnography by Nels Anderson - Collected life histories of 60 hobos who were transiting through Chicago - Also touched on social disorganization – hobos were impoverished migrant workers, travelling around in search of temporary, seasonal employment The Jack Roller: - Title of 1930 by Clifford Shaw - Life history of one delinquent – Stanley - Recounted Stanley’s brushes with the law, behavioural problems, criminal convictions Park and Burgess: - One of earliest “members” of the Chicago School was Robert Park, a sociologist who concluded that Chicago was patterned, instead of organized randomly - Robert Park and Ernest Burgess developed concentric ring theo
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