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Paper Topic:

Social Disorganization Theory

Social disorganization theory is the theory that says that delinquency and crime are caused by the factors of environment . This theory was developed by Henry McKay and Clifford Shaw in 1920th in Chicago . These scientists were working for the University of Chicago and the Institute for Juvenile Research

Their research revealed that there was a system in the distribution of the young criminals ' inhabitation throughout a city . It showed that the poorer and closer to the center the neighborhood was , the higher delinquency rate appeared there . These facts didn 't depend on

the racial or ethnical factors , as this tendency was kept within any race or ethnicity . It was also proved by the fact that there weren 't any changes in the crime rate regardless of the shifts of ethnical and racial makeup changes that took place over the years

Shaw 's and McKay 's research was conducted in Chicago . The data about delinquency rates there was gathered there during the three periods of time : 1900-1906 , 1917-1923 , and 1927-1933 . These scientists used the Robert E . Park 's and Ernest W . Burgess 's Concentric Zone Model of the city . They marked out 5 zones : the first was the business centre of the city the second - the transitional zone , characterized by the conversion from residential to commercial third , the zone of the enterprises and inhabited districts fourth is the upper and middle class dwelling place and fifth is the suburbs

The highest delinquency rate was detected in the zone of transition The social conditions in that area are hideous , the dwellers are poorly educated , and thus their income is very low lots of them are drug addicts , alcoholics , hookers and mentally ill people . The number of divorces and separations is huge many children are raised within incomplete families

The thing is that people who live in the transition zone are not physically , mentally or emotionally ill . The reason for the enormous crime rating was that this lifestyle creates

specific cultural traditions that rule the behavior of the dwellers These traditions are transmitted to the next generations . That 's why the delinquency rating doesn 't experience any changes throughout the years People just react to the social conditions they dwell in by developing their own cultural norms of behavior and following them . It 's obvious that these norms differ from ones in the other city areas

According to the theory of the social disorganization , the main reason for high delinquency rates is that the society can not provide some of its members with the vital things like food , clothes and decent apartment . The absence of this simple belongings leads to the social deprivation and thus antisocial behavior

One more significant reason for the great number of unlawful actions in the transition zone is that parents do not provide their offspring with the attention needed . They are too busy trying to earn the living or they suffer from some kind of addiction or illness . Children , who have too much free time , often join the youth gangs , one of the most dangerous phenomenons in the problematic districts . The adults aren 't financially capable of giving decent education to their kids , so they almost always repeat their parents ' path of life , deprived of the right to choose how to live their own life

We can make three main conclusions

Transmission zone is marked by the highest delinquency rates

Crimes are caused by the society unable to satisfy its members ' needs

The situation in those areas is inextricable , and children often repeat the life path of their parents

The theory of social disorganization was one of the first designed to explain the reasons of crime . It 's been thoroughly researched since the time of its invention , and in spite of some imperfections it 's still valid


Terence D . Miethe Richard C . McCorkle . Criminological Theories Introduction , Evaluation , and Application . University of Nevada at Las Vegas , 2000 , ch .8 ,


Oberwittler , D . Re-Balancing routine activity and social disorganization theories in the explanation of urban violence : A new approach to the analysis of spatial crime patterns based on population at risk , Journal of Quantitative (2004 ,


Shaw , Clifford R . and McKay , Henry D . Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas , The University of Chicago Press , 1969 br

.S : Sorry , but I couldn 't find the biographies of Henry McKay and Clifford Shaw . If you email it to me I`ll put it into the essay


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