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Chapter 7

WDW205 Textbook Summary - Chapter 7

2 Pages
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Department
Woodsworth College Courses
Course Code
WDW101Y1
Professor
William Watson

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Criminology WDW205H1 FOctober 21, 2010 Note Series
7
Chapter 7 Social Structure Theories
Natural Areas- social forces operating in urban areas result in populations in some zones or
neighbourhoods sharing similar characteristics; some become natural areas for crime
Chicago School- in the early 20th century Robert Ezra Park, Ernest W. Burgess, Louis Wirth and their
colleagues in sociology at the University of Chicago pioneered research on the social ecology of the city and
the study of urban crime
Culture of Poverty- the lower class forms a separate culture with its own values and norms that are in
conflict with conventional society; the culture is self-maintaining and ongoing
Underclass- Gunnar Myrdal described a world cut off from society, its members lacking the education and
skills needed to survive, becoming a breeding ground for criminality
Branches of Social Structure Theory
Social Structure Theory-an approach that looks at the effects of class stratification in society
Social Disorganization Theory- an approach that looks at how neighbourhoods or areas are marked by
culture conflict, lack of cohesiveness, transient population, insufficient social organizations and anomie
Strain Theory- an approach that looks at the conflict caused when people cannot achieve their desires and
goals through legitimate means, and are denied access to adequate educational opportunities and social
support
Cultural Deviance Theory- criminal behaviour is in conformity to lower class sub-cultural values that
develop in disorganized neighbourhoods due to strain, values in conflict with conventional social norms
Transitional Neighbourhood- an area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usually from
middle-class residential to lower class mixed use
Cultural Transmission- conduct norms are passed down from one generation to the next, becoming stable
and predictable within the boundaries of a culture
Value Conflict- deviant values of teenage law violating groups, an element of youthful misbehaviour,
conflict with middle class norms which demand obedience to the law
Social Ecologists- a modern variant of disorganization theory that looks at community-level indicators of
social disorganization including disorder, poverty, alienation, disassociation and fear of crime
Social Injustice- in communities where the poor and wealthy live in close proximity, and people can see
how poorly off they are, the consequent perception of injustice leads to a state of disorganization and
anger; see income inequality
Siege Mentality- a consequence and symptom of community disorganization, where fear causes the belief
that the outside world is an enemy out to destroy the neighbourhood
Concentration Effect- when middle class families flee inner city poverty areas, taking with them
institutional resources and support, the most disadvantaged are consolidated in urban ghettos
Income Inequality- differences in personal income create structural inequalities in society that might be
at the root of crime
At-Risk- Oscar Lewis argued that the lifestyle of slum areas produces a culture of poverty passed from one
generation to the next, marked by apathy, cynicism, helplessness and mistrust of social institutions,
making each generation more prone to criminality
Relative Deprivation- the condition that exists when people of wealth and poverty live in close proximity
to one another, affecting crime rates
General Strain Theory (GST)- a micro level or individual analysis of the effects of strain and how
individuals who feel stress and strain are more likely to commit crimes
Negative Affective States- according to Agnew, the anger, depression, disappointment, fear and other
adverse emotions that derive from strain
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Criminology WDW205H1 F October 21, 2010 Note Series 7 Chapter 7 Social Structure Theories Natural Areas- social forces operating in urban areas result in populations in some zones or neighbourhoods sharing similar characteristics; some become natural areas for crime Chicago School- in the early 20 century Robert Ezra Park, Ernest W. Burgess, Louis Wirth and their colleagues in sociology at the University of Chicago pioneered research on the social ecology of the city and the study of urban crime Culture of Poverty- the lower class forms a separate culture with its own values and norms that are in conflict with conventional society; the culture is self-maintaining and ongoing Underclass- Gunnar Myrdal described a world cut off from society, its members lacking the education and skills needed to survive, becoming a breeding ground for criminality Branches of Social Structure Theory Social Structure Theory-an approach that looks at the effects of class stratification in society Social Disorganization Theory- an approach that looks at how neighbourhoods or areas are marked by culture conflict, lack of cohesiveness, transient population, insufficient social organizations and anomie Strain Theory- an approach that looks at the conflict caused when people cannot achieve their desires and goals through legitimate means, and are denied access to adequate educational opportunities and social support Cultural Deviance Theory- criminal behaviour is in conformity to lower class sub-cultural values that develop in disorganized neighbourhoods due to strain, values in conflict with conventional social norms Transitional Neighbourhood- an area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usually from middle-class residential to lower class mixed use Cultural Transmission- conduct norms are passed down from one generation to the next
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