Social Structure Theory

Topics: Sociology, Crime, Gang Pages: 4 (887 words) Published: December 5, 2014

Social Structure Theory
Shanee Mitchell
December 1, 2014
Gary Howard
Social Structure Theory
In this paper I will address and discuss social structure theory. I have chosen the “Pelican Bay State Prison: War Zone” video. I will discuss how the video supports social structure theory, the primary subject or content of the video, and the social issues raised in the video. I shall also address the major principles of sociological theory addressed in the video and some possible ramifications for social policy change. Social Structure Theory Explained

Social structure theories imply that society, finances, and social arrangements are the primary cause for criminal behavior. It suggests that a persons’ chance of becoming a criminal is influenced by their place in the socioeconomic structure. In other words poor or low income people are more likely to get involved in criminal behavior. The social structure theory was developed by theorist who studied the lives of criminals and where they came from. As they studied the lives of criminals they discovered that there was an apparent link to how juveniles became criminals. The subject that stood out the most was the idea that criminal behavior was more likely for those who did not finish school. They found that when an individual finished school their chances of criminal behavior diminished more and more. How Did the Video Support Social Structure Theory

In the video that I have viewed, “Pelican Bay State Prison: War Zone”, there was a lot of information that supported crime evolving from a social structure theory. The prisoners that are in Pelican Bay State Prison set a goal to get into this prison because it is more like a reward more than a punishment for them. Once sent there they can wear it as a badge of honor. Pelican Bay is a prison for only the meanest and toughest of prisoners, mostly gang leaders and such. These gang leaders still run the gangs while they are in prison and are fearless....
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