May 2, 2014
Instructor: Patrick Cote
According to Thomas (1920) social disorganization is defined as, "The process by which the authority and influence of an earlier culture and system of social control is undermined and eventually destroyed” . The purpose of social disorganization theory is to help one understand why there are different crime rates in different communities. The theory believes the absence of community organization leads to these varying rates. Social disorganization theory bases the attributing variation of crime and criminal behavior on the absence of communal relationships and communal institutions, such as church (Social Disorganization Theory, n.d.). Social disorganization was first developed in the early 1900s. Chicago was the home to a large immigrant population. The new immigrants did not learn the social rules; as a result it led to a state of disorganization (Social Disorganization Theory, n.d.). Currently our country faces the same issues with illegal immigrants crossing over the boundaries illegally. Some people argue immigrants should not be allowed to cross the border and others argue that immigrants should be allowed to cross the border as long as they follow the laws. I believe some people are afraid if illegal immigrants are allowed to cross the bounder the state will become a state of social disorganization. There are two characteristics that contribute to social disorganization. The two important characteristics are the low-income levels earned by the residents, and demographic of the residents. The residents tend to be divorced, single parents, and minorities (Hardy, 1999). Inner city areas and poverty-stricken areas are places with less social organization and more social disorganization; as a result of the disorganization people of the community tend to feel like they do not belong. These feeling can come from lack of ownership. For example a person residing in this area may not own his or her own home, or have a job. Children attend underprivileged school receiving poor education. The assistance or lack thereof provided by the government plays a huge role in community disorganization as well (Hardy, 1999). Social disorganization has many effects on a community. The community residents are faced with the inability to apply social control. The youth suffer from poor education and proper guidance. In addition, the community is also affected by higher crime rates (Hardy, 1999). Crime is the direct result of less control and no organization. Without control and organization crime will occur. Without control and organization people have no guidance or positive role models. As a result, people will start to follow other peers possibly following down the wrong path. In my opinion children hang out in cliques and when a person becomes part of the clique he or she has to prove him or herself. What might start out as truancy can result in becoming a high school dropout. Similar to crime, juveniles may start out committing petty thefts and as time goes on, his or her street knowledge grows, and he or she becomes involves in more serious crimes, such as organized crime groups. In the eyes of a person with minimal the life of organized crime is appealing. A person notices the popularity, the money, the cars, the clothes, the jewelry, and believe he or she can achieve the same things. It is argued that individuals born and raised in poverty-stricken areas view the life of crime as his or only option because of the societal disorganization the community. I do not believe social disorganization meets the criteria for organized crime because social disorganization has no control, no rules, no boundaries, and no organization. All of these things that a social disorganization lacks are the primary functions of how organized crime groups operate. Organized crime groups have a hierarchy. Organized crime groups...
References: Hardy, C.L. (1999). Social Disorganization Theory. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com
Thomas, W.I. (1920). Social Disorganization Theory. Retrieved from http://www.d.umn.edu/~bmork/2306/Theories/BAMsocialdisorg.htm
Social Disorganization Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sitemason.vanderbilt.edu
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