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Today’s Agenda. Review Social Disorganization Central Concepts, Policy Implications Anomie / Strain Theories . Modern Social Disorganization Theory. Review of Social Disorganization. Macro (Neighborhood) level theory Explains why certain neighborhoods have high crime rates

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Today’s Agenda

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Today s agenda

Today’s Agenda

  • Review Social Disorganization

    • Central Concepts, Policy Implications

  • Anomie / Strain Theories


Modern social disorganization theory

Modern Social Disorganization Theory


Review of social disorganization

Review of Social Disorganization

  • Macro (Neighborhood) level theory

    • Explains why certain neighborhoods have high crime rates

  • Theory of “Places,” and not “People”

    • Not all people who live there are “crime prone,” in fact most are law-abiding


Race and crime

Race and Crime

  • Explanation for high crime/victimization rates in minority neighborhoods

    • Economic, social, and political reasons for interrupted flow out of neighborhoods

    • Cultural legacy

      • Code of the Streets

      • Cognitive Landscape


Social ecology policy implications

Social Ecology Policy Implications

▪Chicago Area Projects (CAP)

▪Mobilize local informal social organization and social control—creating “community committees”

▪Overcome influence of delinquent peers and criminal adults

▪Assign detached local adults to neighborhood gangs

▪Recreational programs designed to provide youth with associations with conventional peers and adults

▪Improve sanitation, traffic control, and physical decay

▪Produced mixed results


Social ecology policy implications1

Social Ecology Policy Implications

▪Neighborhood watch programs

▪Only successfully implemented in neighborhoods that are cohesive

  • Rob Sampson: the more (and more diverse) non-profit programs the better

    • After school programs, recreation, churches…

      ▪Urban-renewal projects

      ▪Cabrini Green and other high rise “projects”

    • New “mixed” ownership (section 8, partial subsidy, private ownership)


Social ecology policy implications2

Social Ecology Policy Implications

▪Implications for criminal justice system

▪Community policing

▪Active role working with neighborhood residents to identify and solve community problems

▪Reduces fear of crime

▪Little evidence of reduction in criminal behavior

▪Limit the Damage of Mass Incarceration

▪High levels of incarceration within a neighborhood might contribute to social disorganization: recent research = may have maxed out on any benefits


Group work

GROUP WORK

  • Watch for all elements of social disorganization

    • Ecological

    • Collective Efficacy

    • Cultural Values

  • Return to class when finished


Anomie or strain theories

Anomie or “Strain” Theories

Merton

Agnew

Messner and Rosenfeld


Durkhiem s legacy

Durkhiem’s Legacy

Rapidly Changing

Society

“Industrial Prosperity”

Anomie

(Norms are Weakened)

Human Nature as

Insatiable; must

therefore cap or control

Social Ties Important

The Anomie/Strain Tradition

The Social Disorganization and “Informal Control”


Robert k merton

Robert K. Merton

  • Social Structure and Anomie (1938)

  • From Durkheim: Institutionalized norms are weakened in societies that place an intense value on economic success

  • Applied this to the United States

    • The “American Dream”


Conflict means and goals

Conflict: Means and Goals

  • Cultural Goal in U.S.?

    • This goal is universal

    • (The American Dream)

  • Institutionalized Means?

    • Due to the social structure in the U.S., the means are unequally distributed

    • Segment of society with no way to attain goal


Strain theory micro level

MODES OF CULTURAL INSTITUTIONALIZED ADAPTATION GOALS MEANS

1. Conformity + +

2. Innovation + -

3. Ritualism - +

4. Retreatism - -

5. Rebellion +/- +/-

Strain Theory (Micro Level)


Criticisms of merton s strain theory

Criticisms of Merton’s Strain Theory

  • Is crime a “lower class” phenomena?

  • Cannot explain “expressive” crimes

  • Weak empirical support

  • Why do people “adapt” differently?


Agnew general strain theory

Agnew: General Strain Theory

  • Overhaul of Merton’s Strain Theory

  • Three sources of strain

    • Failure to achieve valued goals

    • Removal of valued stimuli

    • Can’t escape noxious stimuli


Agnew gst

Agnew (GST)

  • StrainNegative Affective States

    • Anger, fear, frustration, depression

  • In lieu of “Coping Mechanisms,” anger and frustration can produce delinquency

  • StrainNeg EmotionalDelinquency


Agnew gst1

Agnew (GST)

  • Tests of GST are more favorable

  • Is this theory a theory of “Strain” (in a sociological sense) or a theory of “STRESS?” (in a psychological sense)


Crime and the american dream

CRIME AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

Messner and Rosenfeld


The legacy of merton

The Legacy of Merton

  • In “Social Structure and Anomie”:

    • “Modes of Adaptation” (micro)

    • Discussion of why U.S. might be crime prone (macro) than other countries

  • Messner and Rosefeld, in the 1980s, revisited the macro part of the theory


Elements of the american dream

Elements of the “American Dream”

  • Achievement

  • Individualism

  • Universalism

  • The “fetishism” of money

  • These elements encourage “Anomic conditions”


The american dream produces anomie

THE AMERICAN DREAM PRODUCES ANOMIE

  • MERTON: Pursuit of financial success is “limited only by considerations of technical expediency.”

  • Lombardi: Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.


Institutions in society

Institutions in Society

  • Social institutions as the building blocks of society.

    • The Economy

    • The Polity

    • The Family

    • Education


Key issue for m r

Key Issue for M & R

  • These institutions sometimes have conflicting goals and values.

  • All societies can therefore be characterized by their distinctive arrangements of institutions

  • The U.S.? Economy Dominates: we are a “MARKET SOCIETY”


Indicators of economic dominance

Indicators of Economic Dominance

  • Devaluation of non-economic institutional functions and roles

  • Accommodation to economic requirements by other social institutions

  • Penetration of economic norms into other social domains


Implications of economic dominance

Implications of Economic Dominance

  • Weak institutional controls

    • Family and School are handicapped in efforts to promote allegiance to social rules

    • Single parent families

    • Poorly funded schools

    • “Weak institutions invite challenge”


Culture social structure and crime rates

Culture, Social Structure, and Crime Rates

CULTURE

The American Dream

ANOMIE

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Economic Dominance

Weak Institutional Controls

HIGH CRIME RATES


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