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Neighborhoods and Crime analysis-sociology

Neighborhoods and Crime analysis-sociology - 1 Kayla Murphy...

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1 Kayla Murphy Kayla Murphy Soci 3820 Watts 10:10 Neighborhoods and Crime Reaction Paper The systemic theory of crime is grounded in Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay‟s social disorganization theory. Social disorganization theory attributes high crime rates to the ecological characteristics of the neighborhood. It proposed that juvenile crime and delinquency rates were higher in disadvantaged areas because of a culture that transmitted and approved of crime. Bursik and Grasmick used social disorganization theory to focus on relationship networks and social control. Bursik and Grasmick describe their approach as having “an increasing focus on the neighborhood-based networks of association in which individuals are embedded and the implications of these relationships for the control of crime and delinquency.” Bursik and Grasmick suggest three levels of informal and formal social control: the private, parochial and public. The private level consists of intimate and informal primary groups. Included are family members and very close friends. Private networks exert informal social control by implicitly threatening the withdrawal of sentiment, social support and mutual esteem. Private control has the most influence on the behavior of children and adolescents. The parochial network constitutes broader local and interpersonal networks, as well as local institutions. Members are neighbors and other local residents. No sentimental attachment exists between members of this network. Public networks refer t o the neighborhood‟s ability to secure public goods and services from agencies outside of the neighborhood, including federal and state funding. This network exerts formal social control through crime control and police presence. When private and parochial networks deteriorate, a lack of informal control leads to ineffective social control and socialization of children. The result is higher delinquency and crime rates. Simultaneously the neighborhood loses its ability to attract residents from outside of the neighborhood. Higher levels of residential instability will decrease the economic stability and the public level of social control. Fewer resources will be brought in from outside the community.
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2 Kayla Murphy Cohen and Felson‟s routine activities theory sta tes that for a crime to occur the perpetrator, victim and an object must converge in time and space. Its premise is that humans constantly struggle for basic sustenance. As Bursik and Gra smick explain “Crime… represents a struggle for t hese „goods‟….” T he three components of the routine activities theory are 1) the presence of motivated offenders, 2) suitable targets of victimization and 3) absence of capable guardians. Since World War II, variations in routine activities have increased property crimes. For example, there was an increase in women in the work force. This left many houses without a capable guardian and available for victimization.
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