Crime And Crime Essay

Decent Essays

Before the twentieth century, explaining crime followed Darwin, and Lumbroso’s idea that criminals were biologically inferior. But with the development of the industry and the urbanization of the late 1800s and 1900s, the Progressive movement arose, arguing that crime was a social product. It was not the individual and its biologically inferior traits that would cause him to commit crime, it is rather the environment that causes people to commit crime. That was the beginning of the Chicago School. Because Chicago witnessed a rapid social change due to industrialization and the sudden urbanization and mass population shift, it became the prime choice to study how social change impacted criminal conduct. Researchers at the University of Chicago believed that crime would be best understood by looking at neighborhood characteristics. Shaw and McKay (1929) were influenced by the Chicago School in that they asked the question “does it make a difference if a child grows up in an inner-city community affected by ethnic heterogeneity, poverty, and social mobility?” The question led to shifting the focus of what causes crime from an individual perspective to a social, environmental perspective. Thus, when studying delinquency and crime, Shaw and McKay (1929) and Burgess (1967) argued that neighborhoods may be the contributing factors to crime and not the individual. Shaw and McKay (1929) hypothesized that delinquency would be higher in areas where social disorganization (i.e. where

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