Criminology Lecture Notes2

Shaw and mckay showed that different parts of the

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Shaw and McKay – showed that different parts of the city had different rates of delinquency and criminality – at the conclusion of the work, they asked the fundamental question: WHY? – speculated what was going on that produced high levels of criminality . At first, suggested social disorganization – did not give precise definition to social organization – left to later theorists (Robert Samson) . Robert Samson did a lot of work to explain/theorize about social disorganization . Samson and Groves (1989:777) . “Social disorganization refers to the inability of a community structure to realize the common values of its residents and maintain effective social controls” . Social control involves social situation in which people keep other people from doing bad things . Ex. Stopping someone from shoplifting or someone stopping themselves from shoplifting because they don’t want to disappoint someone else . Common values – everyone is different, so how is common values possible? . There must be a consensus in a society (everyone must agree on something) . Consensus: “The only assumption concerning consensus that is necessary…is that citizens of American communities desire to live in residential communities that are relatively free from the threat of serious crime.” . Levels of Crime control and social disorganization . Private level – face to face interactions . Low Network Density – if people do not know each other, there is low network density . In social disorganization, there is no low network density – cannot control people if there is no relationship . Unsupervised Teenage Peer Groups . People are not controlling their kids . Parochial level – involves organizations (some orgs may be for cleaning up crimes in society) – involves organizational participation and activities
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. Low Organizational Participation . Public Level – extent to which a community can get resources (economic) from outside the environment – if it cannot get external resources, then it is losing control . Level at which we find The Broken Windows Theory (Kelling and Wilson) . In a lot of socially disorganized areas, there is a failure to public control – people don’t call police because they wont do anything – there’s poverty and poor people are not politically active – dilapidated and run down communities . No one cares about what happens in the community – gives people sense that property there has no value – not going to treat it with respect . If a window is broken, then why not break another one – therefore, people just go around showing disrespect to property , creating further destruction . Take out frustration on property – it’s just fun (there is no motivation) . For Kelling and Wilson, broken windows are a metaphor for the kind of social disorder that you see in these types of places . Nobody is going to do anything about social disorders, then nobody is going to do anything about me if I become a criminal . Can commit crimes with impunity . Social disorder ultimately leads to crime .
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