Sociology and Durkheim Social Disorganization

Topics: Sociology, Family, Sociological terms Pages: 15 (4787 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Social Disorganization theory began around the late 1800s.
Social Disorganization refers to organizations and institutions failing in communities or neighborhoods, preventing these areas from overcoming the crime and issues of the day. The social disorganization theory is a key component in the study of criminology. Theories under the umbrella of social disorganization seek to identify and predict trends in criminal or deviant behavior among groups within a social network. The effort is designed to address criminal activity and the variables that might predict undesired behavior within a community. According to Elliott and Merrill:

“Social disorganization are the totality of human personalities and conscious and unconscious attitudes, their crystallized and uncrystallized ideas and institutions which in complex interrelationships make up the framework of human existences. Social organization refers to the way people relate themselves to one another. It also refers to the way in which person and groups making up a society are somehow held together. Social organization and social structure are interchangeable concepts both referring to any interrelated system of role and statuses.” Ogburn and Nimkoff said that:

“When the harmonious relationship between the various parts of culture is disturbed, social disorganization ensues. Social disorganization implies some breakdown in the organization of society. It is a relative phenomenon. Social organization and social disorganization is the dual aspects of the whole functioning of society.” The social disorganization theory attributes crime and delinquency to communities where failing communal institutions, such as family, church, local government and schools, are found. According to this theory, communal relationships reinforce positive behavior, a sense of community responsibility and concern for the social network within a close area. When these communal relationships are faulty or nonexistent, that social network loses a sense of organization and social responsibility, which can potentially lead to negative or even criminal behavior spreading through that neighborhood. Types of Social Disorganization:

Types of social disorganization are as follow:
1.Individual disorganization
2.Family disorganization
3.Community disorganization
Social disorganization is the theory that crime and dysfunctional behavior occur in societies for cultural, political and economic reasons. Established communities experience increases in crime when their way of life and the established order of how things are done changes. Generally, social disorganization is caused by lack of personal control, community control and public control. Cultural Social Disorganization:

Cultural social disorganization emphasizes that disorganization occurs through the failure of people to keep up with the times. When housing, means of transport and methods of communication rapidly change in a society, beliefs, attitudes and habits do not change as quickly. Authority figures resist change and find it difficult to integrate the new circumstances into their lives. This lag can result in social disorganization and increased crime rates. Political Social Disorganization:

When a country or neighborhood has a large influx of new populations, such as immigrants, or are dealing with social upheavals or wars, political corruption can threaten the stability of a society. Political social disorganization also occurs when a country becomes subordinate to another country. The subordinate country loses its ability to govern itself and develop its own institutions, leading to subsequent loss of societal values, which can result in more crime in the society. Crime rates are less prevalent in stable communities. Economic Social Disorganzation:

Social and natural crises can give rise to economic social disorganization. Famines, floods,...

References: Family:
Sampson (1986) indicates that social disorganization may have an effect on youth violence through its effects on family structures and stability
Discrimination and disadvantage - Racism encourages keeping distinct culture. Westwood and Bhachu (1988), say family is a main strength and resistance.
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