Youth Crime and Justice

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How important are social and cultural factors as predictors of youth offending? Throughout this essay, I am going to be looking at the topic of youth offending. I will be looking at what factors can be used as the predictors for youth offending and in particular I will be researching into how important social and cultural factors as predictors of youth offending. In order to do this, I will be looking at different sociologists theories as far as young offending is concerned and what evidence there is to support these theories. I will then conclude by discussing whether I believe social and cultural factors are important in determining youth offending. There are many different explanations throughout criminology and sociology…show more content…
This theory is often referred to as a Concentric Zone Theory.# Burgess believed that as cities expand in size, the development is patterned socially and argued that the city of Chicago could be described in terms of five concentric zones. It was by a competitive process that decided how people were distributed spatially amongst the zones.# The most expensive residential areas were in the outer zones, away from the chaotic atmosphere in the city centre, the pollution caused by factories and the homes of the poor. However, Burgess placed great importance on the ‘zone of transition '. The zone of transition was an area of great social upheaval, which contained deteriorating tenements, often built in the shadow of ageing factories. This zone was described as the least desirable living area and was the focus for the influx of waves of immigrants, as this was the only place the immigrants could afford to reside. This lead to weak family and communal ties which resulted in ‘social disorganisation and it was this disorganisation that was presented as the primary explanation of criminal behaviour.# Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay (1931) wanted to determine whether the concentric zone theory was correct and wanted to see whether crime was greater in socially disorganised areas of the city and so they did this by plotting juvenile crime court statistics onto Burgess 's concentric circles model. Their
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