SOC 2700 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Elijah Anderson, Protective Factor, Informal Social Control

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Structural theories: theories attempt to identify differences between communities, collectivities, or social categories with higher and lower rates of crime. The systematic collection of crime statistics began in europe in the early 90th century, most notably in france. Adolphe quetelet (1831/1984) used these crime statistics to challenger classical views that crime is the result of free will. Quetelet observed in the crime data that rates of criminal behavior follow remarkable patterns and regularity over time and concluded that such regularity can be explained only by the characteristics of the group that produced it. Quetelet and guerry refuted common thinking of the time that crime was due to poverty and lack of education. The data indicated that criminals more commonly resided in the wealthier districts with higher education levels. Areas with higher education tend to produce more wealth that can be exploited illegally, producing higher crime rates.

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