Social Disorganization

Adolphe Quetelet
used year to year data from numerous provinces and cities in France he observed and calculated regularities in crime rates from year to year & Found strong relationship between social factors and crime
Theory of the average man
Propensity to commit crime is normally distributed
crime has a regularity
André-Michel Guerry
first to map crime & found that crime tends to occur in certain locations
Thomas and Znaneicki
believed that Increases in social disorganization and crime in communities occurred in neighborhoods of with high polish immigration — second generation immigrants were causing the crime
Robert Park
wrote Human Ecology– “study of how humans interact with their natural and social environments”
in crim– Competition, domination, and succession
believed In socially disorganized neighborhoods, boy must create their own culture- gangs
Shaw and McKay
mapped crime in Chicago with pushpins and found crime clustered in certain neighborhoods
rejected ideas of biology and psych
structural components (social disorganizationa)
residential mobility (people moving in and out of the neighborhood), low socioeconomic status (proportion of people below the poverty line)
cultural component of (social disorganization)
population heterogeneity (competing cultures, no common norms, american cultural beliefs cannot permeate)
social disorganization
result of the structural and cultural breakdown in a neighborhood
conclusions of the chicago school
crime clusters in certain neighborhoods and remains stable over time because of lack of social control and cultural transmission of deviant values/behaviors
criticisms of social disorganization (Bursik)
Macro level only (Criminology prefers individual)
Assumed stable ecological structure
What is SD measuring??
(SD leads to Crime which really means SD leads to SD!)
Official data only
Normative assumption of consensus
Karsada and Janowitz (systemic model)
local friendship ties
Micro and macro level- normal SD measures and # of friends/relatives, organizational membership, and informal social activities
Sampson and Groves
focus on quality of ties
3 aspects of the community that play a role in controlling delinquency (S & G)
The ability of the community to supervise and monitor teenage groups
The role of local friendship ties/acquaintance networks
The role of formal social networks
Extends the traditional model of social disorganization and argues that disorder has both physical and social dimensions.

Disorder is a signal of a breakdown in social control

Broken Windows Theory
disorder leads to fear leads to withdrawal/self protection leads to decreased social control — offenders will see neighborhood as attractive
social disorder
direct, behavioral evidence of community disorganization (public drinking, drug use, noisy)
physical disorder
enduring, day-to-day symbols of (lacking) investment in the neighborhood
(graffiti, vandalism)
Sampson & Raudenbush
Drove around Chicago neighborhoods with a video camera and recorded all signs of disorder

Found that the relationship between disorder and crime is spurious… no support for Skogan

Bursik & Grasmick
Added to original social disorganization by focusing on the control component
Added 3 types of control-Private,Parochial,Public
private control
informal primary group networks
parochial control
the networks among residents and local institutions
public control
networks among local representatives of the neighborhood and external actors, institutions, and agencies
dependent variable of social control
measured by loss of respect
independent variables of social control
systemic variables, parochial control
findings of Bursik
Control measures mitigate the relationship between traditional social disorganization measures and crime
Local community networks have strong impact on social control
Sampson, Raudenbush, and Earls
studied collective efficacy
collective efficacy
mitigates the effects of structural factors; had a negative effect on violence
environmental criminology
police cant effect crime, crime is product of environment
environmental crime policy
focus on places, routine activities, micro places
Distance Decay Function
Crime not equally distributed across time and space
Jane Jacobs
believed Mixed land use will increase social control
reasons for mixed land use
More people on the streets to keep eyes out for crime or deviance
Store owners partake in control of the neighborhood since they do not want their store to suffer
Mixed land use will also increase social ties without intruding on privacy
Mixed land use effective as long as there are capable guardians in the vicinity
Ralph Taylor
believed mixed land use leads to increased physical incivilities
(Store owners may reside elsewhere and not be interested in social control
Or owners only around during store hours
Mixed land use will increase strangers in a community; strangers can introduce all different types of people into a neighborhood)
Stucky and Ottensmann
believed Mixed land use cannot be studied without delving into types of land use
Look at industry, commercial land use, water, parks, hospitals, school, vacant lots, and residential land use
Disadvantage areas may be differentially effected by land use
policy implications for social disorganization theory
Prevent turnover
Improve SES & jobs
Lessen effects of heterogeneity
Increase communication and feelings of community
Target Police
Hot Spots
hot spots
focus on high crime areas
use of technology
predictive policing

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