Social Disorganization Theory By Shaw And Mckay

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Social disorganization theory was established by Shaw and Mckay (1942) in their famous work “Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas”. The main argument of the social disorganization theory is that, the place where people live will influence the individual’s behavior, and this may lead them to crimes. More precisely, certain characteristics of the neighborhood/community will strengthen or weaken the informal social control within the community, and this has mediating effect on crimes.
In 1925, Park et al. published a study of the city of Chicago, focused on its industrialization and urbanization. They found out that the industrialization changed labor, economics and adolescence of the youngers. The immigration who came to the city were …show more content…

Hence, as they argued, delinquency was not "constitutional", but was to be correlated with the particular ecological environment in which it occurs. Therefore, it was highly possible that the ethnic diversity interferes with communication among individuals from different ethnic backgrounds because of their different culture and customs, as well as the lack of shared experiences. This would possibly lead to the fear, mistrust, even conflict within the community, and therefore, increased the crime/delinquency rates. They also advocated the influence and determination of the criminal subculture by saying that this problematic subculture would promote the delinquency and worsen the situation.
However, this generation of social disorganization theory did not define what “social disorganization” was, which was nearly unacceptable. Moreover, they only used official data of delinquency in their research, which had obvious middleclass bias, and overlooked social stratification. Besides these, this generation of social disorganization theory could not explain why many people in the Zone II did not commit crime and only a small fraction of whom committed most of the crimes, aka “good boy in the bad neighborhood” problem.
Kornhauser (1978) criticized this social disorganization theory and indicated that the cultural transmission was problematic. If the crime could be cultured, then it could be organized, it could promote itself,

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