ESSAY - Examine sociological explanations for the lower rates of recorded crime in rural compared to urban areas

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Homework Essay Question – Mrs Young 8th November 2013

ESSAY QUESTION: ‘Examine Sociological explanations for the lower rates of recorded crime in rural compared to urban areas’…

A group of sociologists based in Chicago became known as Chicago School, and they argued that the growth of cities produced distinctive neighbourhoods, each with its own characteristic lifestyle. Shaw and McKay applied this perspective to their study of delinquency. Statistics from their study shows that 9.8% of crimes committed are usually found in the Central Business District (CBD). However, British sociologists criticize these findings as when they repeated the same study in Britain, they found that British crime patterns are more scattered and
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Recorded offender rates for Gardenia were 300% higher than Stonewall. There was little or no difference between the two estates in terms of ethnicity, class, age, gender, income and employment. Baldwin and Bottom suggest that the reason why there could be more crime in one estate than the other (both found in the same are) is because of the ‘tipping’ process. Once Gardenia had ‘tipped’, it had appeared to influence the council’s housing policy. Those with severe housing needs were allocated to Gardenia and were also most at risk of crime. Over time, Gardenia developed a negative reputation which resulted in some residents leaving and others refusing to move onto the estate. Marshall and Johnson also point out that rural areas are more ‘close knit’, with higher levels of social interaction between people in the area, including kin relationships. People are likely to know other members of the community and are therefore more ‘intouch’ with their communities. Wilson and Kelling agree also and suggest that the ‘tipping’ process starts when informal social control is breaking down. They are more likely to break down when buildings are left in a state of disrepair. When these acts of deviance are left to go on, the noise levels increase, vandalism grows and more windows get broken. These neighbourhoods then tip into decline and property values plummet, law abiding members of the community are afraid to go out, many of them leave the neighbourhood, informal social

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