Criminology: Sociology and Crime Rates Essay

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Emily Hamilton 4/7/14
Exam II Social structures emphasize the risk factors and social dynamics in different neighborhoods. There are four major social structure theories that have and leave imprints of effects on different societies. The first theory is the Ecological/Chicago School perspectives on city growth otherwise known as the Chicago School of criminology. This theory in particular represents one of the earliest examples of complementary theorizing with scientific analysis. The development of this theory was the quintessence of using theoretical development and scientific testing to help improve the conditions in Chicago’s society when they were the most desperate for it. Another example of a social structure was the social disorganization theory. Concepts regarding this theory are various zones of the city, zone in transition and factory zoning. “Nearly all cities experience large growth of factories around the city center, which invades residential areas and essentially creates a state of transition and instability, which leads to chaos and higher and delinquency rates”(schram pg 211). Subculture theories is another form of a social structure or crime. “Some groups of people have normative structures that deviate significantly from the mainstream culture, which inevitably leads to illegal behavior” (schram pg 211). Lastly, is the lower-class focal concerns theory. “The lower class has an entirely separate culture and normative value system, which in many ways values the opposite of many middle-class standards” (schram pg 211). “The Concentric Zone theory, proposed by E. W. Burgess (1926), that urban land use may be classified as a series of concentric zones. Zone I, the CBD, lies at the center of the city. Zone II is in transition. It is the crowded, multi-occupied zone of the city first invaded by migrants. Within this Zone are the ghetto areas (these are not necessarily slums). In Zone III are the working men's houses, the area of second generation immigrants, one step up from Zone II. Zones IV and V are residential; Zone IV for the better-off and Zone V for the commuters. All these zones are held to have evolved separately and without planning. They result from the competition of different socio-economic groups for land. This competition results in variations in the cost of land and, therefore, causes segregation within a city. The model assumes uniformly flat, and available, land, and ignores the importance of transport routes, but relies on the theory that city growth results from distinct waves of in-migrants, that is to invasion and succession. In this last respect it is therefore more applicable to cities in the USA than to European cities. See also sector theory, multiple nuclei model, Mann's model” ( Cities develop in an expected way throughout time and place and abide by the natural principles of ecology. Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay “believed that the social disorganization concept could be applied to the passage of nationality groups through a spatial grid of the city. Discovering a strong association between crime rates and census tracts, Shaw and McKay explored the delinquency problem in inner-city areas in Chicago within the setting of traditional institutional efforts to control the behavior of the younger generation and the generations to come” (Short, 1972). “Their dependent variables were delinquency rates from the city of Chicago, which were measured by arrests, court appearances, and court adjudications of institutional commitment. Their independent variables were economic conditions by square-mile areas, ethnic heterogeneity, and population turnover. These variables were based on where delinquents lived and consisted of 10 to 16 year-old males who were petitioned to juvenile court” (Shoemaker, 1996).
Shaw and McKay believed that the social disorganization concept could be applied to the channel of nationality groups through a grid of the