Relating Concepts of Sociology to my Personal Life
- Length: 2086 words (6 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
In today’s society, it is easy to spot someone blaming themselves for the occurrence of their personal life problems. For example, a single-mother may blame herself for not being able to support her children well due to a shortage of money and unavailability to find a decent job. Another could be a newly wed couple having daily arguments that may lead to their divorce, or women who are facing difficulties perceiving their housekeeping responsibilities and wanting to become something more than just a homemaker. These various private tensions may seem very personal. These dilemmas are all related to a bigger world called society and this is known as the sociological imagination. Sociological imagination suggests that people look at their own personal troubles as social issues and, in general try to connect their own individual encounters with the workings of society. The personal problems are closely related to societal issues such as unemployment, marriage, war and even the city life where the private troubles and the public issues become clearly apparent. With the understanding of the sociological imagination, I began to notice the daily choices I make, the classes I attend, the way I was raised by my parents, the group of people I choose to hang out with, the things I like to converse about with others are all somehow affected by public issues and what society tends to make us believe is right. There are many areas in my life where I feel that I am greatly affected by various sociological theories such as events dealing with gender and sexuality, family and culture, ethnicity and race, and social class and work.
Even though our country supports equality in gender, differences still exist. This issue of gender and sexuality of our society has had one of the biggest impacts in my life since I was raised with five brothers. Since birth, I was immediately perceived by my parents as my gender role of girl and daughter. My brothers were given action figures, cars, and guns to play with. I was given the traditional girl toys Barbies, baby dolls and kitchen sets. Of course, I enjoyed my traditional girl toys but it might have been nice to have a choice and be able to have the same toys as my brothers to play with. I eventually concluded that I should be satisfied with whatever toys were given to me by my parents.
How to Cite this Page
|Essay about Organizational Behavior Concepts And Terms - Introduction As an amateur linguist, I am fascinated by words. Their origins and meanings help me to better relate to my surroundings and specific concepts. Many would say that one can not begin to understand a word or concept until a meaning is agreed upon. John Locke wrote in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1977) that words signify ideas, and furthermore that if a person can not identify the idea behind the word then the words are lacking in meaning (Kemerling, 2001). This agreement in terminology regarding key concepts is a culmination of my research into word origins, and as defined by Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn in the text Organizational Behavior (2005).... [tags: Organizational Behavior]||1121 words|
| Essay about Civilization and Savagery: Creating a New Society - 1. Major Obstacles In Lord of the Flies, the boys who crashed were forced to start a new society because they found themselves on an uninhabited island lacking an established civilization. However, the boys in Lord of the Flies, when given control over government, environment, and values, chose not to form an organized and focused civilization, but alternatively made choices and created arguments that resulted in chaos and savagery. While there are always obstacles throughout the formation of a new community, some challenges could be overcome to create a propitious society favored by the people.... [tags: Sociology ]|
:: 8 Works Cited
| What is Sociology? Essay - . Introduction Sociology is described by Layder (2006, p.1) as being “How the encounters of everyday life and individual behaviour influence, and are influenced by, the wider social environment in which we live” Bauman & May (2001. p.1) describe a visual image of the output of sociology, as being a “collection of books in a library”. The discussion within this collection broadly follows main concepts and perspectives, with many authors, but also of key peer tested Authors. I will initially outline the main concepts and main perspectives from a selection of these authors, and aim to conclude, that is is the “sociological thinking” gained from “unpacking” this knowledge, that can be applied... [tags: concepts, perspectives, professional practice]|
:: 12 Works Cited
|Medicalization of Sociology Essay example - Medicalization of Sociology Sociologist utilizes several perspectives to explain individual motivations of deviance with an emphasis on biological, psychiatric, psychoanalytic, and psychological terms. The emergence of these ideals temporarily displaced social disorganization theory, which stresses a rapidly changing environment as the cause of deviant behavior. Social pathology seeks to explain deviance by evaluating conditions or circumstances, uniquely, affecting the individual. Sociological theories recognize the existense of social conditions that produce deviant behavior and how society identifies it.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||442 words|
|Sociology and the Education System in America Essay - The definition of Sociology is that it is the study of human societies through the synthesis of theoretical analysis and controlled research, focusing on the social patterns and forces that influence humans. The study of sociology is the issues, concepts, investigations, and more importantly, the systematic study of relationships among people. While the study of sociology focuses on groups, or society as a whole, it should not exclude an emphasis on individuals because individuals forms groups and groups produce individuals.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||1140 words|
|Sociology Concepts Essay - 1. Social action is defined as day to day decisions and actions of individuals within the social world. Social actions both influence and are patterned and influenced by social structure. According to Marx’s theory, in order for the potential of social action occurring to take place a society must face resistance and revolution. According to Marx’s theory societies are already divided into two main groups, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie are the upper class who are owners of capital and exploiters of labor, while the proletariat, or lower class, are the blue collar workers who use their hands or a certain skill to perform some sort of labor.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||2554 words|
| Sociology Essay - Sociology is a field which developed over a millennia ago, but it was not until the nineteenth century that it came into the fore as a bona fide social science, in need of its own classification apart from other social sciences. Sociology, 'the study of the process of companionship';(pg.396, Ambercrombie,Hill,Turner), is a discipline, which is not exclusively independent in and of its self, yet borrows from many other disciplines such as: history, geography, and anthropology. 'American sociology is fundamentally analytical and empirical; it proposes to examine the way of life of individuals in the societies … prefers to explain institutions and structures in terms of the behavior... [tags: Sociology Essays]|
:: 8 Works Cited
|Sociology Essays - Sociology Miss Rowbotham Education Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of functionalist sociology to an understanding of the role of education in society A) Explain what is meant by ‘streaming’. (2 marks) Streaming is when you organise children into different classes in school depending on their ability. B) Give two examples of ways in which the school curriculum may be seen as ethnocentric. (4 marks) The school curriculum may be seen as ethnocentric as they only teach main culture/religion subjects and they do not give children a broad education.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||641 words|
|Sociology Essay - Intro to Sociology When asked about transsexuals, Mildred Brown, author of True Selves quoted that it is a “dilemma of feeling trapped in the wrong physical gender.” Transsexuality is a phenomenon, which really has not been scientifically examined. Through talk shows such as Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones or the Maury Show, society tends to see a one-sided view on this matter. While watching the Maury Show, “Man or Woman”, the audience’s reaction to the transsexuals on stage were not of disgust but more of awe.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||979 words|
|Sociology Essay - Some sociologists have marked the course of the history remarkably. Others with lesser impact, have been rapidly forgotten. Karl Marx belongs to those with unforgettable memory. His works didn’t perish, but are rather classified as everlasting. Karl Marx, German political philosopher and revolutionist, is one of the most influential thinkers of all times. He’s the founder of modern socialism and communism. He’s by many appraised and glorified and in the eyes of others, he’s viewed as a shame to mankind.... [tags: Sociology Essays]||1993 words|
I believe that toys contribute to the gender socialization with the help of parents who tend to treat boys and girls differently since their births. Because Barbie is likely one of the most identifiable symbols of femininity in the world, parents feel the need to expose it to their daughters at an early age. It is obvious that there are different social positions assumed by women and men. Even in our youth individuals tend to conform to the gender role, which is more closely related to our particular gender identity. After numerous incidents where I was denied the opportunity to play with “boy toys” and to play sports such as football, I soon began to conform to my female role, as a daughter and sister. Through encountering social interactions and experiencing social learning of gender, I learned what was believed or understood as the correct thing to do. I suppose that gender is not solely created biologically, rather, it is also felt and learned through the experiences within the society. In addition, the cultural factors influencing the structural factors in gender can also be experienced through the society. I believe that having brothers helped influence me more in recognizing my gender identity. The guidance of my parents helped me to conform to the socially accepted ways of the female gender. Learning about the ways that social beliefs affect personal lives, helped me to understand how social interactions assist in gender identification.
Another sociological theory that has affected my way of thinking was social issues dealing with family and culture. I grew up in a traditional Puerto Rican family here in the United States. My family helped to shape my views and behaviors culturally. My grandfather told me many stories about how he was discriminated against. While he angrily expressed his feelings about Caucasian people, as a child I could feel myself slowly believing in my grandfather’s beliefs. I believe now that I was experiencing anticipatory socialization, I was taking on the norms, and behaviors of a role to which one aspires but does not yet occupy. Another way of viewing my actions is that I was rejecting self-socialization and making my family an aspect of primary socialization. Due to my experience with my grandfather and his influence, I avoided Caucasian people. I began believing that culture was limiting the options I had. My familial or societal experiences issued me my beliefs as if I had no control over my own beliefs on culture and society. Due to the anticipatory socialization with my grandfather, I still have problems developing my individual beliefs alone. Society still plays a big role in the choices I make. Social influences can be uncontrollable and sometimes people use social influences to form their socially understood beliefs. This experience helped me to realize that society does indeed play a main role in developing my cultural and traditional family views and values.
My racial identity became clear as I was considered part of a minor racial group in my class full of Caucasian people. At first, I was surprised by the enormous variety of races that existed. The first day I went to school, I realized I was the only Hispanic in the class .I felt out of place as if I did not belong there. However, later during the day, I was moved to an ESL class where I met at least seven Hispanic people. Soon, I started to feel that I was part of a distinct ethnic group and I would feel more accepted when I am with other people of my ethnic group. According to Brym and Lie, ethnic group is composed of people who perceived cultural markers are deemed socially significant. It is true that ethnic groups differ from one another in terms of language, religion, customs, values, and ancestors, but these are not the only causes of differences in races, but much of the social-structural differences typically underlie cultural differences. I felt more comfortable being with other Hispanics because I thought they shared similar ideas as me, but another reason was that while I was in the classroom filled with mostly Caucasian people, I felt as if they were saying, “What is she doing here? She’s not one of us.” Somehow, I felt like an outcast among the fluent English speakers and thought even my teacher looked down on me because I could not speak the language. However, after couple of years, I started to make Caucasian friends and slowly began to experience a shift in my racial identity. Even before I knew it, I was shaping and reshaping my ethnic identity through the experiences I was encountering with different groups of people. According to Brym and Lie, assimilation is the process by which a minority group blends into the majority population and eventually disappears as a distinct group. I believe that through goodwill, I was allowed to fuse socially and culturally into an American culture. Unlike the years before, I now believe that racial identity was not forced upon me, rather I shaped it throughout the years through my own experiences with different race people.
Following the changes in my attitude toward different groups of people, I started to become more aware of my current social standings living with my parents. I believe that social inequality still has big consequences for the way we live which sketches out the pattern of social inequality in the United States and globally. The meaning of social stratification, the way society is organized in layers or strata, we start to identify issues that need to be resolved before we can achieve a more adequate understanding of social stratification, one of the fundamentally important aspects of social life. Wealth is not just how much money you have or how expensive of things you can afford to buy, rather it is something that you own. It may be many different things. For example, my parents’ wealth helped to purchase a house of their own, a new Mercedes and to pay for two kids’ college tuitions. I agree with the fact that wealth even improves your health because you can afford to engage in leisure pursuits, turn off stress, consume high-quality food and all this will lead you to live a healthier and longer life than someone who lacks these advantages. My dad, who has lost his mother when he was only six years old, has lived under difficult conditions. His father did not have a job, he had five siblings who now had no mother to cook for them or take care of them. They lived in poor conditioned house where rain would go right through the roof of the house leading to another night of wet floor to be bucketed out. Not until my dad started to work on his own, he was not able to achieve any social status with his family living in such poverty. Now he works as a financial manager for a prosperous company and earns a high income annually. Since your income is what you earn in a given period, there is less income inequality in the distribution of wealth. People of social stratification usually divide populations into categories of unequal size that differ in their lifestyle. In addition, there is a relationship between wealth and culture as one defines class such as the “cultural capital” which is widely shared high status cultural signals that really cannot be counted due to its invisibility. I realized after hearing my dad’s life story of working his way up in his social and economic status that it is possible for people to move up and down following economy. In order to do this however, our society needs to promote marriage, decent paying jobs, and raise the minimum wage. I sometimes wonder how my parents would react if I brought someone home to introduce him as my future husband but his social standing is dramatically lower than my family’s. I believe that my parents would try to convince me to contemplate my decision. Since marrying him would not allow me, the privileges I am used to. It is easier to relate to an individual who has been as privileged as I have and shares my social standing. Even at school, there are certain social events that only people who can afford to buy the tickets can attend. Those who are not able to afford such things are not allowed to attend the event. This shows how the society makes social stratification seem almost natural and bound to happen. Our society promotes the differences in social classes and is telling us to accept it the way it is.
I believe that if I had not been aware of these sociological theories, I would not have been able to understand how society relates to my daily choice makings and beliefs I have developed throughout the years. I always thought that my personal problems were only affected by my private issues and did not think that sociological issues could be such a big of an impact. In many areas such as gender and sexuality, family and culture, race and ethnicity, and social class and stratification were all the causes and results of various personal problems I had throughout my life. Once I began to learn these sociological concepts, I was able to relate them more to my life and started to question how society can be changed. People must realize and accept that little actions can change the society, which can bring dramatic changes to their daily lives. We have to stop thinking that society is merely a big institution that we as “little people” cannot really do anything to bring about a change. We have to realize that we may be created and controlled by the social world, but at the same time, we create the society. As I raise my children, I am going to try to raise them as individuals rather than a boy and a girl. As I meet people of different races, I am not only going to limit myself to Hispanics, rather I will try to get off from my comfort zone and be part of different groups of people. These things may not be easy as it sounds because of beliefs that society has already formed in my head, however, I am going to try to stay open-minded, and that society can indeed change if we all become aware of each of our own sociological imaginations.
In sociology, the social disorganization theory is one of the most important theories developed by the Chicago School, related to ecological theories. The theory directly links crime rates to neighborhood ecological characteristics; a core principle of social disorganization theory is that place matters. In other words, a person's residential location is a substantial factor shaping the likelihood that that person will become involved in illegal activities. The theory suggests that, among determinants of a person's later illegal activity, residential location is as significant as or more significant than the person's individual characteristics (e.g., age, gender, or race). For example, the theory suggests that youths from disadvantaged neighborhoods participate in a subculture which approves of delinquency, and that these youths thus acquire criminality in this social and cultural setting.
Larry Gaines and Roger Miller state in their book Criminal Justice in Action that "crime is largely a product of unfavorable conditions in certain communities". According to the social disorganization theory, there are ecological factors that lead to high rates of crime in these communities, and these factors linked to constantly elevated levels of "high school dropouts, unemployment, deteriorating infrastructures, and single-parent homes" (Gaines and Miller). The theory is not intended to apply to all types of crime, just street crime at the neighborhood level. The theory has not been used to explain organized crime, corporate crime, or deviant behavior that takes place outside neighborhood settings.
Up to the beginning of 1970s, this theory took a back seat to the psychological explanation of crime. A recent overview of social disorganization theory, including suggestions for refining and extending the theory, is a journal article by Kubrin and Weitzer (2003).
Thomas and Znaniecki
W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant in Europe and America(1918–1920) introduced the idea that a person's thinking processes and attitudes are constructed by the interaction between that person's situation and his or her behavior. Attitudes are not innate; rather, they stem from a process of acculturation. Any proposed action will have social importance to an individual both because it relates to the objective situation within which the subject has to act, and because it has been shaped by attitudes formed through a lifetime of social and cultural experiences.
This is based on the "four wishes" of the Thomas theorem, viz., "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences". These four wishes are the desire for new experiences, the desire for recognition, the desire for domination, and the desire for security. Combined with the cultural values of a pre-existing situation, the four wishes give rise to certain attitudes which are subjectively defined meanings and shared experience, strongly emphasised and embodied in specific institutions.
The root of new attitudes arises from the formation of new relationships and interaction between the person and the world outside the community. For example, the emergence of economics as an independent sphere reflected the tendency to reduce quality to a quantity in barter transactions and led to the development of money.
Park and Burgess
Robert E. Park and Ernest Burgess (1925) developed a theory of urban ecology which proposed that cities are environments like those found in nature, governed by many of the same forces of Darwinian evolution; i.e. competition, which affects natural ecosystems. When a city is formed and grows, people and their activities cluster in a particular area (this is the process of "concentration"). Gradually, this central area becomes highly populated, so there is a scattering of people and their activities away from the central city to establish the suburbs (this is "dispersion").
They suggested that, over time, the competition for land and other scarce urban resources leads to the division of the urban space into distinctive ecological niches, "natural areas" or zones in which people share similar social characteristics because they are subject to the same ecological pressures. As a zone becomes more prosperous and "desirable", property values and rents rise, and people and businesses migrate into that zone, usually moving outward from the city center in a process Park and Burgess called "succession" (a term borrowed from plant ecology), and new residents take their place.
At both a micro and macro level, society was thought to operate as a super organism, where change is a natural aspect of the process of growth, and is neither chaotic nor disorderly. Thus, an organized area is invaded by new elements. This gives rise to local competition, and there will either be succession or an accommodation which results in a reorganization. But, during the early stages of competition, there will always be some level of disorganization because there will be disruption to (or breakdowns in) the normative structure of the community, which may or may not lead to deviant behavior. Thus, although a city was a physical organization, it also had social and moral structures that could be disorganized.
Their model—known as concentric zone model and first published in The City (1925)—predicted that, once fully grown, cities would take the form of five concentric rings, with areas of social and physical deterioration concentrated near the city center and more prosperous areas located near the city's edge. This theory seeks to explain the existence of social problems such as unemployment and crime in specific Chicago districts, making extensive use of synchronic mapping to reveal the spatial distribution of social problems and to permit comparison between areas. They argued that "neighborhood conditions, be they of wealth or poverty, had a much greater determinant effect on criminal behavior than ethnicity, race, or religion" (Gaines and Miller). In the post-war period, the cartographic approach was criticized as simplistic in that it neglected the social and cultural dimensions of urban life, the political and economic impact of industrialization on urban geography, and the issues of class, race, gender, and ethnicity.
Edwin Sutherland adopted the concept of social disorganization to explain the increases in crime that accompanied the transformation of preliterate and peasant societies—in which "influences surrounding a person were steady, uniform, harmonious and consistent"—to modern Western civilization, which he believed was characterized by inconsistency, conflict, and un-organization (1934: 64). He also believed that the mobility, economic competition, and individualistic ideology that accompanied capitalist and industrial development had been responsible for the disintegration of the large family and homogeneous neighborhoods as agents of social control. The failure of extended kin groups expanded the realm of relationships no longer controlled by the community and undermined governmental controls, leading to persistent "systematic" crime and delinquency.
Sutherland also believed that such disorganization causes and reinforces the cultural traditions and cultural conflicts that support antisocial activity. The systematic quality of the behavior was a reference to repetitive, patterned, or organized offending, as opposed to random events. He depicted the law-abiding culture as dominant and more extensive than alternative criminogenic cultural views, and as capable of overcoming systematic crime if organized for that purpose (1939: 8). But because society is organized around individual and small group interests, society permits crime to persist. Sutherland concluded that if the society is organized with reference to the values expressed in the law, the crime is eliminated; if it is not organized, crime persists and develops (1939:8).
In later works, Sutherland switched from the concept of social disorganization to differential social organization to convey the complexity of overlapping and conflicting levels of organization in a society.
In 1928, Ruth Shonle Cavan produced Suicide, a study of personal disorganization in which she confirmed that the mortality rate is relatively stable, regardless of economic and social conditions. Despite finding this result, Cavan was excluded from faculty status at Chicago. She served on various research committees for six years, and then moved to Rockford College in Illinois.
She was particularly interested in dance halls, brothels, insanity, divorce, nonvoting, suicide, and other forms of socially problematic behavior of interest to the political reformers, studying the working lives of "business" girls and their dispersal throughout the zones of Chicago (1929). Partly as a result of her studies, Cavan (1953) emphasized the importance to the efficient functioning of the entire social order of the regulation of sex. While there are variations in the specific arrangements, all societies contain family groups, forbid incest, sanction marriage, approve more highly of legitimate than of illegitimate births, and look upon marriage as the most highly approved outlet for sexual expression of adults.
She has continued the work to review delinquency in different countries (1968), returning to write of the Chicago School itself in 1983.
Shaw and McKay
Mapping can also show spatial distributions of delinquency and crime, but it cannot explain the results. Indeed, such research has often been used politically to ascribe immorality to specific population groups or ethnicities. Social disorganization theory and cultural transmission theory examine the consequences when a community is unable to conform to common values and to solve the problems of its residents.
Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay (1942) applied Sutherland's theory of systematic criminal behavior, and claimed that delinquency was not caused at the individual level, but is a normal response by normal individuals to abnormal conditions. Thus, if a community is not self-policing and if it is imperfectly policed by outside agencies, some individuals will exercise unrestricted freedom to express their dispositions and desires, often resulting in delinquent behavior. They considered the concentric zone model, and produced a diachronic analysis to demonstrate that delinquency was already dispersed in urban areas, and that more wealthy and important groups moved to avoid the existing social disorganization.
Their concepts, hypothesis, and research methods have been a strong influence on the analysis of delinquency and crime. Their dependent variables in the delinquency rates 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 (56,000 juvenile court records from 1900–1933 were used as data). The time frames they selected showed strong patterns of immigrant migration; Shaw and McKay believed that they could demonstrate whether delinquency was caused by particular immigrant groups or by the environment in which the immigrants lived:
- If high delinquency rates for particular immigrant groups remained high during their migration through the city's different ecological environments, then delinquency could be associated with their distinctive constitutional or cultural features.
- If delinquency rates decreased as immigrants moved through different ecological environments, then delinquency could not be associated with the particular constitution of the immigrants, but must somehow be connected with their environment.
Shaw and McKay demonstrated that social disorganization was endemic to the urban areas which were the only places the newly arriving poor could afford to live. In these areas, there was a high rate of turnover in the population (residential instability), and mixes of people from different cultural backgrounds (ethnic diversity). Shaw and McKay's analyses relating delinquency rates to these structural characteristics established key facts about the community correlates of crime and delinquency:
- The rates of juvenile delinquency were consistent with an ordered spatial pattern, with the highest rates in the inner-city areas, and the rates declining as distance from the city center increases.
- There was an identical spatial pattern revealed by various other indexes of social problems.
- The spatial pattern of delinquency rates showed significant long-term stability, even though the nationality structure of the population in the inner-city areas changed greatly throughout the decades.
- Within inner-city areas, the course of becoming delinquent occurred through a network of interpersonal relationships, involving family, gangs, and the neighborhood.
Comparing the maps, Shaw and McKay recognized that the pattern of delinquency rates corresponded to the "natural urban areas" of Park and Burgess' concentric zone model. This evidenced the conclusion that delinquency rates always remained high for a certain region of the city (ecological zone 2), no matter which immigrant group lived there. Hence, delinquency was not "constitutional", but was to be correlated with the particular ecological environment in which it occurs. In this context, Shaw and McKay asserted that ethnic diversity interferes with communication among adults, with effective communication less likely in the face of ethnic diversity because differences in customs and a lack of shared experiences may breed fear and mistrust.
Although research in different countries has tended to support Shaw and McKay's findings that delinquent rates are highest in areas with economic decline and instability, that research has not found that crime rates spatially disperse from the city center outward. In fact, in some countries, the wealthy live in city centers, while the poorest zones are near city fringes. Further, their work does not consider why there is significant non-delinquency in delinquency areas. Thus, the theory identifies social causes of delinquency that seem to be located in specific geographical areas, but its conclusions are not completely generalizable. For a general discussion of their work, see Snodgrass (1976).
Robert E. Lee Faris (1955) extended the concept of social disorganization to explain social pathologies and social problems in general, including crime, suicide, mental illness, and mob violence. Defining organization as definite and enduring patterns of complementary relations (1955: 3), he defined social disorganization as the weakening or destruction of the relationships which hold together a social organization (1955: 81). Such a concept was to be employed objectively as a measurable state of a social system, independent of personal approval or disapproval. When applied to crime, Faris' central proposition was that, "A crime rate is ...a reflection of the degree of disorganization of the control mechanisms in a society." In turn, crime also contributes to disorganization, and disorganization of such conventional mechanisms is especially likely in large, rapidly growing industrial cities where such disorganization permits highly organized criminality, as well as less organized forms of group and individual crime and delinquency.
Robert J. Sampson (1993) claims that any theory of crime must begin with the fact that most violent criminals belonged to teenage peer-groups, particularly street gangs, and that a gang member will become a full-time criminal if social controls are insufficient to address delinquent behaviour at an early age. He follows Shaw and McKay (1969) in accepting that, if the family and relatives offer inadequate supervision or incomplete socialization, children from broken families are more likely to join violent gangs, unless others take the parents' place. However, even children from unstable families are less likely to be influenced by peer groups in a community where most family units are intact. Tight-knit communities are more likely to identify strangers, report deviants to their parents, and pass warnings along. High rates of residential mobility and high-rise housing disrupt the ability to establish and maintain social ties. Formal organizations like schools, churches, and the police act as surrogates for family and friends in many communities, but poor, unstable communities often lack the organisation and political connections to obtain resources for fighting crime and offering young people an alternative to deviant behavior. Sampson concludes that "the empirical data suggest that the structural elements of social disorganisation have relevance for explaining macro level variations in violence."
Social disorganisation may also produce crime by isolating communities from the mainstream culture. Sampson and Wilson (1995) proposed a theory of race and urban inequality to explain the disproportionate representation of African Americans as victims and offenders in violent crime. The basic idea proposed was that community-level patterns of racial inequality give rise to the social isolation and ecological concentration of the truly disadvantaged, which in turn leads to structural barriers and cultural adaptations that undermine social organisation and ultimately the control of crime. Sampson and Wilson (1995) pursued this logic to argue that the community-level causes of violence are the same for both whites and blacks, but that racial segregation by community differentially exposes members of minority groups to key violence-inducing and violence-protecting social mechanisms, thereby explaining black-white disparities in violence. Their thesis has come to be known as "racial invariance" in the fundamental causes of crime.
Bursik and Grasmick
Robert J. Bursik Jr’s scholarly works played an important role in the revival of Social Disorganization Theory following its fall in popularity during the 1960s. One of the main criticisms of Shaw and McKay’s theory was that it suggested, in certain area’s delinquency rates remained high regardless of the ethnicity group that lived there. Researchers during this period felt that it was unlikely that crime patterns remained stable even though there were constant changes in population without these areas. Bursik’s work helped negate some of the criticisms associated with Shaw and McKay’s work; Bursik showed that it was possible and likely to have stable crime patterns within an area that showed constant population change. Specifically Bursik points out that “development of primary relationships that result in informal structures of social control is less likely when local networks are in continual state of flux.” In the example of Chicago, as immigrants continue to come in, the population already there leave soon as it’s financially feasible, which in return makes it difficult for any stable form of social control to take place.
Robert J. Bursik and Harold G. Grasmick further contributed to Social Disorganization Theory by reformulating concepts of social control within neighbourhoods that was introduced by Sampson and Groves, into three types of social control that are influenced by structural factors. Personal Social Control, Parochial Social Control and Public Social Control which are influenced by structural factors within a neighbourhood such as poverty, residential mobility, heterogeneity and broken homes affect the ability of the neighbourhood to implement models of social control.
- Personal Social Control: In this model there are no personal relationships between neighbours and as a result no friendship networks for social control are formed. Example would be neighbourhoods with high number of residents with different race and backgrounds or low income and high unemployment which cause mistrust and lack of communication among the community.
- Parochial Social Control: In this model the residents take a more active approach to Social Control observing strangers coming into the neighbourhood to stop vandalism and theft within the community. Example would be neighbourhoods that participate in programs like “Neighbourhood Watch”.
- Public Social Control: In this model the entire community works together as an organization to improve and protect the community. Example would be playing an active role to the schools, community center and other institutions within the neighbourhood.
Lee and Martinez
When Scholars associated with Social Disorganization theory developed spatial analytical techniques seventy years ago, they wanted a way to study violent crimes. These theorists were particularly concerned about the adverse impacts of that immigration, internal migration and ethnic heterogeneity might have on the ability of neighborhoods to control the behavior of their residents. Shaw and McKay, Sampson and Groves and Bursik and Grasmick all suggest that immigration and ethnic heterogeneity within the neighborhood can have adverse effect within the community. Recent work by Matthew T. Lee and Ramiro Martinez JR, suggest that might not always be the case; recent studies have found that immigration generally does not increase crime rates in areas in where immigrants settle; in fact some studies show that these areas are less involved in crime than natives. Lee and Martinez suggest that current immigration trends do not have the negative consequences expected by disorganization theories; rather these studies show that immigration can strength social control rather than compromise it.
Immigration Revitalization thesis argues that immigration can revitalize poor areas and strengthen social control within neighborhoods because of strong familial ties, job opportunities associated with enclave economies that result in less crime. In fact Lee and Martinez state that immigration is required as an essential ingredient for continued viability of urban areas where population has declined or community decay occurs, as was the case in previous decades.
- Burgess, Ernest & Bogue, Donald J. (eds.).(1964). Contributions to Urban Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-08055-2
- Burgess, Ernest & Bogue, Donald J. (eds.) (1967). Urban Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-08056-0
- Bursik, Robert J. (1984). "Urban Dynamics and Ecological Studies of Delinquency". Social Forces 63: 393-413.
- Cavan, Ruth S. (1969). Juvenile delinquency (2nd edition). New York: J.B. Lippincott.
- Cavan, Ruth S. (1963). The American Family. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co.
- Cavan, Ruth S. (1928). Suicide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Cavan, Ruth Shonle, (1929). Business girls : a study of their interests and problems.
- Cavan, Ruth S. (1948). Criminology. Thomas Y. Crowell.
- Cavan, Ruth Shonle and Jordan T. (1968). Delinquency and Crime: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.
- Cavan, Ruth Shonle. (1983). "The Chicago School of Sociology, 1918-1933". Urban Life 11. (January): 407-420
- Faris, R. E. L. (1955) Social Disorganization. 2nd edition. New York: The Ronald Press Company. ASIN B0007DEVLE
- Ferdinand, T.N. (1988). "Ruth Shonle Cavan: An Intellectual Portrait". Sociological Inquiry 58 (No. 4) 1988: 337-43
- Franklin Frazier. (1932). The Negro Family in Chicago.
- Hawley, Amos H. (1943). "Ecology and Human Ecology". Social Forces 22: 398-405.
- Hawley, Amos H. (1950). Human Ecology: A Theory of Community Structure. New York: Ronald Press.
- Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press. (2001) Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-7658-0900-1
- Kubrin, Charis & Weitzer, Ronald. (2003). "New Directions in Social Disorganization Theory". Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency 40: 374-402.
- McKenzie, R. D. "The Ecological Approach to the Study of the Human Community". American Journal of Sociology 30 (1924): 287-301.
- Park, Robert E. "The City: Suggestions for the Investigation of Human Behavior in the City Environment". American Journal of Sociology 20 (1915): 577-612.
- Park, Robert E., Burgess, Ernest W. & McKenzie, R. D. (1925). The City: Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.
- Park, Robert & Burgess, Ernest W. (1921). Introduction to the Science of Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (3rd revised edition, 1969). ISBN 0-226-64604-1
- Park, Robert. (1952). Human Communities: The City and Human Ecology. Glencoe, Ill: Free Press. ASIN B0007EOJQA
- Reckless, Walter C. (1940). Criminal Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Reckless, Walter C. (1933). Vice in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Sampson, Robert J. (1993). "The Community Context of Violent Crime". in Sociology and the Public Agenda, edited by William Julius Wilson. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. pp267–74. ISBN 0-8039-5083-7
- Sampson, Robert J. & Wilson, William Julius. (1995). "Toward a Theory of Race, Crime, and Urban Inequality" in Crime and Inequality, edited by John Hagan & Ruth D. Peterson. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2477-6
- Sampson, Robert J & Bean, Lydia. (2006). "Cultural Mechanisms and Killing Fields: A Revised Theory of Community-Level Racial Inequality" in The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity and Crime in America, edited by Ruth Peterson, Lauren Krivo, and John Hagan. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-6720-6
- Shaw, Clifford R. & McKay, Henry D. (1942). Juvenile Delinquency in Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Shaw, Clifford R., Zorbaugh, Harvey, McKay, Henry D. & Cottrell, Leonard S. (1929). Delinquency Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Shaw, Clifford R. (1952). Brothers in Crime. Philadelphia: Albert Saifer.
- Snodgrass, Jon. (1976). "Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay: Chicago Criminologists". The British Journal of Criminology 16 (Jan.): 1-19.
- Sutherland, Edwin. (1924, 34. 39). "Principles of Criminology.
- Thomas, W. I. & Znaniecki, F. (1918-20). The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- ^Syristova, Eva a kol. Normalita osobnosti. Avicenum, Prague 1972, p. 183.
- ^Sampson, Harvard.edu
- ^Bursik, Robert J. "Social Disorganization and Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Problems and Prospects." Criminology 26.4 (1988): 519-52. Web.
- ^Shaw, Clifford R. and McKay, Henry D. Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969
- ^Bursik, Robert J. "Social Disorganization and Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Problems and Prospects." Criminology 26.4 (1988): 519-52. Web.
- ^Bursik, Robert J., and Harold G. Grasmick. Neighborhoods and Crime: The Dimensions of Effective Community Control. Lexington, 1993. Web.
- ^Lee, Matthew T., and Ramiro Martinez JR. "Social Disorganization Revisited: Mapping the Recent Immigration and Black Homicide Relationship in Northern Miami." Sociological Focus 35.4 (2002): 363-80. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Web.
- ^Ramiro Jr, Martinez, and Abel Valenzuela Jr. "Immigration and Asian Homicide Patterns in Urban and Suburban San Diego." Immigration and Crime: Race, Ethnicity, and Violence. New York: New York UP, 2006 Web.
- ^Kubrin, Charis E. "Social Disorganization Theory: Then, Now, and in the Future." Handbook on Crime and Deviance. Ed. Marvin D. Krohn. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009. 225-236.