SOC 2760 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Informal Social Control, Social Disorganization Theory, Physical Disorder

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Jan 24th lecture 3
The Chicago school
Methodological contributions
1) official data (crime rates, figures, census reports) to
apply to geography
2) life history & ethnography
HUMAN ECOLOGY & SOCIAL ECOLOGISTS
•Likens human communities to plant & animal communities
•2 observations:
•racial, class, other groups affect one another’s daily lives
•groups are affected also by urban environment
•“Normal” condition is equilibrium and order
APPLICATION - SOCIAL ECOLOGISTS
•Invasion - when a new species or organism moves into a new territory
•Segregation - plant species are clustered; not much interrelationship ex china
town (part of Toronto but still its own group)
•Natural areas - species favour natural areas where they flourish ex ppl who
hunt will live in an area w forests they wouldn’t do well in a city
•Dominance - relative strength of one group over another ex colonialism one
country pushes another culture/group out
Accommodation organisms lvingin together in the same space
Sucession- accommodation doesn’t always happen one group may
become extinct
Symbiosis- a condition of mutual interdependence among organisms in
an env that is necessary fro their survival (reliance on one another)
Key: change in one part of the system invariably affects other system
components
Ex forest fire
Weeds and grasses move in
Affects distribution of animals
Similarly: industrial and commercial estb reclaim slum areas
Modern banks businesses gov offices replace rundown buildings
Gentrification: process of creating a neighbourhood that’s more middle
class
Where do these ppl who were lower class go? ...no where bc they can’t
afford to move/travel for work etc
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION
Application to Chicago
How do these cites grow?
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Burgess argued that a series of concentric zones emerges from ecological
competition
Determines how ppl spatially distributed among the zones
Each zone reflects deff land value land use res pattern and cultural
character
Social patterns weakened fam and communal ties and result in social
disorganization
Ideal type: not perfectly exemplified everywhere
CONCENTRIC ZONES
1) Central Business District
stores commercial estb hotels entertainment
2) Zone in Transition
rooming houses hostels low scale rundown hotels
cheap but undesirable living inhabitants have no choice
Unstable poor mentally ill immigrants (move asap)
No pride community spirit social ties
Greatest amount of crime alcoholics druggies
3) Zone of Working-Class Homes
Multi fam dwellings duplexes lower and working class
Better off not abundant means
Less crime more comm
4) Residential Zone
Single fam dwellings: buying, have backyards
Better off more affluent less violence
5) Commuter Zone
Luxurious large properties privacy
Most affluent
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION
Shaw and McKay empirically tested Burgess’ model
Delinquency flourished in zone in transition; inversely related to zone’s
affluence and corresponding distance from CBD
court records showed crime highest in slum neighbourhoods regardless of
which racial or ethnic group lived there
as groups moved to other zones their crime rates decreased
proportionately
Conclusion: it’s the nature of the neighbourhood not the nature of the
individuals within the neighbourhood that regulated involvement in crime
More about the neighbourhood than the people
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION
Conditions in society that undermine ability of traditional social institutions
to govern human behaviour
Influence on schools and fam
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