Chapter 6: Social Structure Theory - Chapter 6 Social...

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Chapter 6: Social Structure Theory Intro Drug dealing gangs develop in poor deteriorated urban neighborhoods and that gang related homicides are highest in crowded inner city communities Social structure theorist suggest that antisocial behavior is a direct result of destructive social forces on human behavior Social forces, not individual traits that cause crime Dealing drugs hold the promise of economic rewards and status enhancement Economic Structure Social strata are created by the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige 46 million Americans living in poverty Problems of the Lower Class Individuals who live in lower class are more prone to depression, less likely to achieve motivation and less likely to put off gratification for sake of future gain or security Child Poverty Nearly 22% of all youth live in families with incomes below the poverty line Being a child in a low income family does not happen by chance, and is a function of parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors associated with economic insecurity 1 in every 30 children Children who grow up in low income families are less likely to achieve in school and less likely to complete their schooling, more likely to suffer health problems Minority Group Poverty Burdens of underclass life are often felt most acutely by minority group members ( most minorities do not have protection) Family income of latinos and african americans is that of whites Unemployment for blacks is twice that of whites High unemployment and nontraditional family structures may prevent individuals from developing skills and habits that lead first to educational success and later success in workplace -linked to crime/drug abuse Social structure and Crime The root cause of crime can be traced directly to the socioeconomic advantages that have become embedded in american society As neighborhood quality decreases, the probability that residents will develop problems sharply increases Onset, peak, decline Interracial differences in the crime rate could be significantly reduced by improving levels of education, lowering levels of poverty, ending racial segregation and reducing extent of male unemployment Policies and Issues Self doubt is a neighborhood norm that threatens to overwhelm those forced to live in areas of concentrated poverty Community wide underemployment destroys social cohesion, increasing the presence of
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neighborhood social problems ranging from drug use to educational failure Political philosophy and fear of racial conflict have led to high incarceration rates among african american males Social Structure Theories Social structure perspective encompasses 3 independent yet overlapping branches: Social Disorganization Theory - Crime flourishes in a disorganized area in which institutions of social control have broken down and can no longer perform their expected functions
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