In terms of the Social disorganization theory, how does the lack of control by the social institutions, as well as the lack of collective efficacy, inevitably cause social disorganization?

Social disorganization theory was popularized by Chicago sociologists, Clifford R. Shaw and D. MacKay through their works which gave a direct connection between the lives in disorganized, transitional urban areas ad the rate of neighborhood crime rates. Shaw & MacKay state that if the fabrics that bind together the society gets frayed, torn and are in effect unable to give to the society the most basic services such as health or education, all the residents will be looking at opportunities to leave these neighborhoods. The theory suggests that when these residents increasingly become disinterested in the affairs of these neighborhoods the result is instability(Siegel, 2008, p. 166).

The theory also suggests that due to the constant resident turnover, both the commercial and residential properties start to come up. In these societies, the common sources of social control such as the family, personal ties, business relationships slowly wither and become disorganized. Personal relationships and communication also become strained due to the constant relocations and as such most attempts at community level problem solving will in most case would fail. When these levels of social disorganization are reached, crime and violence slowly become epidemic and spread to the neighboring societies becoming a form of a contagious disease(Siegel, 2008, p. 167).

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With respect to the aforementioned, what are the distinctive assumptions of the Shaw and McKay’s research? Most importantly, mention the four distinct conclusions of their study pertaining to social disorganization and delinquency.

Shaw & MacKay started their work in Chicago during a time when the city was experiencing rapid population growth driven by high rates of immigration, physical deterioration of the city’s facilities and high crime rates. Social disorganization was based on four basic assumptions. First, the collapse of the social institution was seen as having a direct bearing on delinquency. Secondary, the theory says that the loss in the organization is mostly due to industrialization, immigration and urbanization. Third is the effectiveness of the social institutions and the increase in the desirability for residential and business which affect the ecological aspects of competition and dominance or what is termed as the ecological approach to social disorganization and delinquency. The last assumption is that as a result of social disorganization, inevitably leads to development in criminal values that take the place of the more socially acceptable ones.

Shaw and McKay’s come to important conclusions about delinquency. First, they observed that the rates of juvenile delinquency had an ordered spatial pattern. They came up with five concentric zones form these found pout that the rates of crime were in the transitional city zones where immigrants settled and declined further away from the center. Secondary, based on an observation over 65 years, the rates of crime in these areas were relatively stable over the various ecological zones and despite the fact that the population in these inner areas change greatly over the years. Lastly Shaw & MacKay concluded that he course of delinquency was transmitted through interpersonal relationships of gangs, family and the neighborhood. Since the delinquency rates were relatively stable despite the nationality of the group that forms the central concentric zones, they concluded that juvenile delinquency is not related to nationality.

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With respect to the social process approach to criminality and defiance, state and explain the following theories:

  • Edwin Sutherland’s differential association theory.

The theory was developed by Edwin Sutherland following his study of white collar crime among professionals. He disputed the notion that crime was a direct link from the inadequacy that is experienced by the lower class in the society saying instead that crime was a trait that could be learned and was able to affect any member of the society irrespective of their class. He also said that behavior was acquired purely through social learning and that behavior was neither a political nor legal process. In this regard, he concluded that the skills and motives conducive to perpetuate crimes were learned through social contact.

Differential association is based on key principals. It states that criminal behavior is learned through interactions and communication mostly within intimate groups. The techniques that are taught in the learning the criminal behavior range from the complex the techniques of committing crime to the simple aspects such as motives and rationalization of crime. These motives will be given mostly by interpreting legal codes as lacking or favorable. Differential association can vary with intensity, duration, frequency, and priority. The theory also states that although criminal behavior is an expression of needs and desires, it cannot be explained by these needs since non criminal behavior also expressed the same needs and desires.

The theory has been credited as an important explanation to criminal behavior. Criminologist agree to the influence that being in contact with those that can communicate the techniques and give motives to commit crime such as when a young person is in the association of friends who avoid paying for tickets. Sutherland says that neutral behavior such as reading a book on crime will rarely result to crime because it keeps the youth away from being in contact with those involved in crime.

  • Gresham Sykes and David Matza “techniques to neutralization” and state how delinquency uses each of these techniques

The theories of Sykes & Matza (1957) focus on the determination and freewill. Sykes & Matza (1957) uses the term “techniques of neutralization” to refer to the excuses and rationalizations that delinquent juveniles use to attempt to neutralize the resultant responsibility for their defiant actions. These techniques make up what is referred to as Sutherland’s definition of favorable violation of the law. These juveniles will in most cases get away with crime because they are seen as not sinning in their own eyes but as being sinned against due to society’s failure.

The technique used by delinquent juvenile include denial of responsibility basing their argument on their home life, lack of affection or social class; denial of harm to anyone by seeing stealing as borrowing; complete denial of harm to victims especially other criminals; condemning those who condemn them such as saying that the authorities are more corrupt and also appeal to higher authority such as rationalizing crime to defend one’s gang or neighborhood.

With respect to culture conflict and violence, perspective, explain the following theories:

  • Franco Ferracuti and Marvin Wolfgang’s subculture of violence.

The culture of violence theory (Wolfgang and Ferracuti 1967) is one of the sub cultural theories of violence. The theory argues that wherever there is a large, complex, and pluralistic society, it is normal that that there arise sub-groups that slowly learn and develop special norms or values via differential associations and organizations. These Subcultures could emphasize and justify the use of the kind of physical force that would be described as being above that which is regarded as “normal” of the whole culture collectively.

One of the classic examples of this is Family and street violence, both of which is see as the result of an exaggerated culture of masculinity and machismo characters among the members of the low class in the society. Social and behavioral scientists have use the patriarchal theories to explain spousal abuse by the male as a way of trying to keep me in control in homes by suppressing the female’s rebellion to male domination efforts. They also say that violence has been used previously to enforce the status of men and even translated to laws and customs that were seen as largely being in the favor of the interests of men. According to these theorist , this has resulted to the subordination of women in male dominated societies where men occupy all the positions of power and the women become their subordinates further which has further increased the women’s vulnerability within the society and more so the family.

  • Elijah Anderson’s code of the streets

Elijah Anderson’s “code of the streets” is another theory of the interrelationship between culture and behavior. He says that the life circumstances that prevail in the places where the “ghetto poor” people live place the young people ion situations where crime and deviant behavior is the norm. These unfavorable situations include lack of jobs, drug use and drug trafficking alienation hope for the future.

Anderson identified two cultural forces that shape the behavior of the youth. The first category is the decent morals that were taught to the child by his family which is committed to the values of the middle class. This family will belong to what Anderson termed as the working poor and in most cases hardworking and god fearing and highly committed to their families.

On the other side, there are the street values that are born from the despair of the inner city life. These values are in complete contravention with the mainstream beliefs and result to what Anderson terms as the “code of the street”. These codes spell the ways to act when challenged and if the codes are violated, violent retribution and penalties will result. These codes are however deeply engrained by respect or what in the streets is termed as “being treated right”. The codes give the right to punish or loss of respect to those that are disrespectful(Anderson, 2000).

The codes allow one to live in harmony without physical harm if well observed and if bothered, the person would feel highly violated and may view some otherwise petty actions like maintaining eye contact for too long as a serious physical threat. To live I the streets, a kid who is brought up in families that uphold decent values will have to either respect or negotiate the street codes. In the streets, loss of respect is dangerous and life threatening because if one losses respect they become easy targets and one therefore is allowed by the codes to seek respect through physical violence or performing better in school for the children from the decent families(Siegel, 2008, p. 185).

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With respect to control theories to criminality and defiance , state and explain the following theories:

  • Travis Hirsch’s social bond theory (state the four elements)

Hirsch tries to link the onset of criminality to the weaknesses that that occur to the fabrics that bind people together. He states that everybody is a potential lawbreaker and would do the bad things were it not for the fact that doing so would damage the relationship that they have with friends, family or employees. The theory therefore says that in the absence of these social ties, most people would freely commit crime. Hirsch therefore concludes that people with weak connections to the society are more likely to engage in criminal activities.

Hirsch gives four main elements of social bonds that one ought to maintain wit the society. Attachment is the first element. This refers to the person’s sensitivity and interest in others without which psychologists predict that a person would become a psychopath with no ability to relate with others.

The second element is commitment of resources which could be time, energy or money. This will involve doing such things as getting education or saving for the future all which reduce the chance that they will engage in acts that will put into jeopardy their resources. The third element is involvement in illegal activities that leaves less time to engage in crime. People involved in activities at school or work will not easily be lured to crime. The final element that Hirsch gives is belief. Without shared social moral beliefs, people would easily get involved in antisocial behaviors.

  • Labeling theory: Frank Tannenbaum’s “dramatization of evil”

This model by Tannenbaum looks at the process through which the society creates a criminal. During the initial stage, the defiant child looks at his acts as a form of play and a way to seek excitement. The society will however see these acts a nuisance as slowly begin to look at the kid with the defiant values as evil and will seek suppression of these acts either by punishment, courts or truant in school. Slowly as the behaviors become reinforced, the society starts to see the defiant child as an evil person and the young person also realizes that he is different from the other children because he is constantly being punished or mistreated. He then seeks kids whom he share the same traits.

This dramatization of evil that happens when the delinquent becomes bad because the society deems him bad or is not believe he is good plays a major role in creating a criminal. The process of making the criminal will therefore consist of the society stimulating, emphasizing, suggesting and evoking the same trait that the society complains about. It also involves tagging the delinquents, defining them, segregating and making self conscious of their states as delinquents. This emphasis on the negative behavior, or what Tannenbaum terms as dramatization of evil, will perpetuate the conflict whether it’s the person trying to punish this behavior or trying to help on the case. When there is this conflict, the delinquent seeks refuge in the gangs which gives him more mores which are under attack by the society and propagate the conflict further.

  • John Braithwaite’s re-integrative shaming

One of the basic foundations of restoration movement is found in John Braithwaite’s book crime, shame and reintegration. Braithwaite builds his theory on concept of shame. According to him, shame is the feeling that one gets when they don’t meet the standards that we have put for ourselves or have been put for us by others. He notes that shame can lead to people thinking that they are defective and that where crime is associated with high levels of shame, there is low crime rate such as the case of Japan where formal legal proceedings only occur after one publicly gives apologies.

The opposite is the United States where people are not subjected to shame and will therefore so themselves as victims of the legal system although they committed the crimes. This brings Braithwaite to the conclusion that shame, is a very powerful tool of social control. According to Braithwaite, shame takes two forms. First there is stigmatization, when the offender is termed an evil person and degraded which deters crime because people are afraid of being rejected by the society. The other form of shame is reintergrative shaming where disapproval is extended to the person’s evil deeds while upholding their respect and being willing to accept them back to the society when fully changed. Braithwaite suggests that that reintegrative shaming be brief and controlled after which ceremonies of forgiveness are undertaken.


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With respect to social structure perspectives, explain the following theories:

  • Emile Durkheim’s anomie

Durkheim popularized the term anomie in his book Suicide. He used the term to refer to a lack of social norms or a state of being norm-less as an individual. According to him, an anomic society is one whose rules of behaviors values and customs have completely broken down during times of rapid social change especially in societies that are moving towards industrialization where division labor is given more emphasis.

When there is this shift in the traditions and values, the result is social turmoil when pre-existing norms are corroded. The society can therefore not effectively maintain control over the population and the result is disobedience to legal codes and crime. The condition could be seen in Russia when shifting from a communist to capitalist system during a time which social support was lost.

  • Robert Merton’s structural strain theory (explain the five model sand give the one that is most likely to offend and why)

The theory by Merton takes three factors into account: goals defined as valuable and legitimate by the society as a whole; norms that gives the acceptable ways of achieving the goals above; the actual available ways to achieve these goals. Merton therefore says that, strain arises whenever the valued goals are nuclear and people remain unclear whether they have already achieved them, they are also unsure of whether the legitimate ways will allow them achieve these goals and thirdly when the legitimate opportunities to reach these goals remain closed. He uses the US as his test subject from which he concludes that people respond to structural strain through a combination of responses that range from acceptance to rejection and in between. He identifies these five responses on which is not defiant.

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The first is conformity where people accept the cultural goals and pursue them through legitimate means. Second is innovation which is acceptance of the cultural goals but rejecting the means. People will therefore focus on winning the price while disregarding the rules. Third is ritualism where although people reject the goals, they strictly observe the legitimate means to getting them achieved. The response is opposite to innovation where the person plays by the rules even though it remains clear that they are loosing. Fourth is retreatism. People reject both the goals and the means to achieve them. The response is taken by those who have resigned due to failure when using both legitimate and illegitimate means. The retreatists are according to Merton the outcasts and misfits of the society whom include drunks, tramps and addicts. The last one is rebellion where people introduce a new set of goals and means after either fully or partially rejecting the old ones. This presents the major threat to the social order because when rebellion is among a big group, there is the potential of major a revolution.

  • Richard Cloward’s and Lloyd E. Ohlin differential opportunity theory ad explain the three distinct types of delinquent subcultures

Cloward and Ohlin (1960) gave an extension of the work of Merton and Sutherland. According to this theory working class when faced with rejection by the larger society will choose a gang to avoid their anomic situations. The pressure to join these gangs will, just as Merton and Sutherland had suggested stem from the discrepancies between the goals and the legitimate ways to achieve them. Cloward and Ohlin however introduce the availability of illegitimate channels.

Cloward and Ohlin identify criminal, conflict and retreatist as the three illegitimate juvenile subcultures. In the slums where a hierarchy of criminal activities already exists, the criminal subculture will exist where the modes of adaptation sis theft and other property offences. The conflict subculture occurs in disorganized slums which are under invasion and the groups are denied and form of legitimate and illegitimate claim to status and they resort to violence to gain respect. The retreatist subcultures on the other hand are made of double failures; delinquents who are unable to succeed either in the criminal or conflict subcultures and in effect resort to drugs to get self esteem(Hagan, 2010, p. 153).

Present and explain the following three types of multiple murders: serial, mass and spree while doing so, present the characteristics, classifications systems of each and the difference among the three.

Mass Murderers kill more than four people in the same location at a single continuous period which could be either a few minutes or a few days as when someone kills several members of their family. Richard Speck is an infamous mass murderer who killed eight student nurses in a single night of July of 1966, in a south Chicago townhouse.

Spree Killers on the other hand kills more than two victims and different locations. They usually take a spree, killing people with no cooling off period between murders. They are different from serial killers who murder more than three victims with each killing done at a different occasion. Unlike spree killers and mass murderers, they have a cooling period in which time they carefully plan their next murder and select their victims. They could operate in the same geographical location or travel farther away in search of victims.

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In regards to sexual offences, present on the following two categories and respectively present on the various types and offender typologies

  • Rape/ rapist

This is a type of sexual assault that involves sexual intercourse initiated by one or more persons against another person who has not given consent. A rapist is a person who commits the act of rape. Power assertive rapists will claim to have a weapon and are responsible for the majority o the rapes. Anger retaliation rapists are a rapist who are out to punish women due to hate towards women and will injure their victims during the act. Juvenile sex offenders have problems with authorities and want to punish their victims.

  • Child sexual abuse’ child molesters and pedophiles

Child sexual abuse is a type of child abuse in which an adult uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of sexual abuse range from asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities; indecent exposure of a child’s genitals; displaying pornographic contents to a child and actual physical contact with the Childs genitals except in certain non-sexual context as during medication. Child molesters

Pedophilia is a medical disorder among the adults and those in late adolescence where the patient develops excessive sexual interest in prepubescent children.

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