Social Disorganization Theory On Urban Ecology And Burgess 's Concentric Model

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Social Disorganization
Nicole Hofmann
Criminological Theory – University of Tampa Abstract
Social Disorganization theory has its roots in urban ecology and Burgess’s concentric model. As part of the positivist paradigm of criminology, it poses a scientific examination of the connection of social disorganization and crime mediated by structural factors. The macro-level research concludes that a weakening of social bonds between an individual and institutions of socialization will lead to delinquency. Over time, there has been much empirical support for the theory and extensions have been made to include more reliable measures of social disorganization within a community. This paper will discuss the origins of the theory developed by Shaw and McKay, then move forward to prominent empirical support, social disorganization research on suburban areas and lead up to valid criticism of the theory. Finally, there will be an examination of the policy implications originally posed and a proposal towards a more integrated approach addressing causes for social disorganization through the critical paradigm of criminology.
Social disorganization theory is part of the positivist paradigm of criminology, a scientific approach to crime causes, and part of the Chicago School of crime. While trait theories under the positivist approach assume that crime is cause by internal factors, social disorganization theory relies on the assumption that crime is caused by environmental
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