CRIM 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Crime Survey For England And Wales, Informal Social Control, Socioeconomic Status

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CRIME IS PATTERNED
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION
-a term coined earlier by W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki and also by Robert Parak
-expanded upon by Shaw and McKay
-social disorganization theorists and researchers are interested in the spatial distribution of crime
-notion that crime is not random
Socially organized areas
-the good part of town
-low crime rate
-absence of social problems such as homelessness and panhandling
Socially disorganized areas
-the bad part of town
-high crime rate
-usually has unemployment, mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism
-crime is a result of overcrowding, poverty, transience, all contribute to breakdown of informal
social controls (family, school, religion)
-ineffective socialization and supervision of children
-residents unable to solve their own problems/achieve community goals
RE-EMERGENCE OF CHICAGO SCHOOL TRADITION
-1980s re-emerged Chicago school
COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND CRIME
-by Sampson & Grove
-retest of Shaw and McKay’s original social disorganization theory
-argued that the original research only tested on 1 community,
might not be applicable in others
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-many early study of social disorganization theory rely on crime
rates
-concerned about the extent to which official delinquency rates
reflect ecological biases in official reaction to delinquent behavior
-police may just be patrolling more in lower class areas therefore
higher crime rate.
CRIME SURVEY
-got around the crime rate bias by using British crime survey from
1982 and 1984
-the survey is collected from micro-community level rather than
macro level.
-used self reported data on victimization and criminal offending to
avoid problems associated with official crime rates.
-Confirmed Shaw and McKay’s link between crime and social
disorganization
THREE INTERVENING VARIABLES
*These are the variables that lead Shaw & McKay’s 5
characteristics that lead zone in transition to social disorganization;
-residential density
-poverty
-ethic and cultural heterogeneity
-residential mobility
-family disruption
-low community supervision of teen peer groups
-sparse local friendship networks
-low participation in community organizations
-inability of community residents to form strong social ties
is attributable to residential mobility and ethnic and cultural
heterogeneity
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