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Social DisorganizationTheory - Chicago School

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Reza Barmaki

SOC307 th July 27 Chicago School - Social Disorganization Theory The US in early 20 Century - rapid expansion of American capitalist economy - industrialization - urbanization - immigration and intended migration - cultural and ethnic conflict Facts of Life in Chicago - slums - poverty - crime - youth gang - adult organized crime - ethnic conflict - political corruption - police corruption New York, 1912 - immigrants - European rural areas - into cities - clash of old and new values - often poor - ended up in ethnic slums Chicago Slums, 1915 - concentrated in certain parts of cities - problems with poverty and crime - poverty is always a good inducement for crime Chicago Race Riots, 1920s - concern with race relation and ethnic integration **How to reduce ethnic conflict, crimes in slums, youth crime** Social Disorganization Theory - institutions of social control absent of dysfunctional family, school, police, church.. - result presence of indicators of disorganization (crime and deviance) - ethnic slums, slums in general: o 1. ethnic slums  rapid transition  rural to urban  disruption of protective institutions • loss of culture • culture clash and incompatibility of values • poverty • family instability o 2. general slums  poor and transistents (hobos, bums, unemployed)  indicators – cheap housing, bars, prostitutes, drugs… Social Disorganization and Crime/Delinquency - delinquency is not caused at individual level - it is a normal response by normal individuals to abnormal conditions - demands of environment – poverty, disrupted kinship networks, conflicting values Social Disorganization Theory - rejected biological explanation - rejected eugenics - both were very popular/respected - proposed social reforms – better housing, education, tolerance - when you put a lot of people in a small space, they will fight for resources and there would be competition Contemporary Slums - crime and deviance - socially disorganized 1. Concentric Zone Theory - Park and Burgess - cities are natural environments - processes become intense as population rises - ecological process operate - competition for scarce resources - people with similar resources concentrate in the same areas - rich, mild, poor - poor areas disorganized – poverty, crime, value conflicts, turnover of people 2. Gifford Shaw and Henry D MaKay - delinquency is not caused at individual level - normal responses by normal individuals to abnormal conditions - disorganized areas show more delinquency because more poverty, distrupted kinship networks, conflicting values 3. Acculturation Theory - Isaac Thomas and Flonan Znarucki - behaviour is shaped by: o demands of environment o cultural beliefs - contradictory internalized motives and values - demand conflicting lines of action from the individual - may result in crime Robert K. Merton (1903-2003) Anomie Theory - discrepancy between cultural goals and legitimate means of attaining them - results in non-conformist forms of behaviour Cultural Goals - what are things we should want - what action is worthy of pursu
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