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Chapter 6 PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

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  1. Chapter 6 Social Structure Theory

  2. Socioeconomic Structure and Crime • The U.S. is a stratified society: social strata are created by the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige. • Social classes are segments of the population who share attitudes, values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle • The poverty rate is 2003 was 12.5 percent • Nearly 36 million people live in poverty

  3. Figure 6.1 Number in Poverty and Poverty Rates, 1959-2003

  4. Socioeconomic Structure and Crime • Child Poverty • Poverty during early childhood has a more severe impact than during adolescence • Low income children are less likely to achieve in school and more likely to suffer health problems • Social problems in lower-class slum areas are epidemic • Nearly 25 percent of children under age 6 live in poverty

  5. Figure 6.2 Poverty Rates by Age, 1959-2003

  6. Socioeconomic Structure and Crime • Weblink www.aecf.org/kidscount

  7. Socioeconomic Structure and Crime • The Underclass • Culture of poverty is passed from one generation to the next • Gunnar Myrdal suggested that an “underclass” was cut off from society • Unemployment and underemployment disrupts family life and creates despair

  8. Socioeconomic Structure and Crime • Minority Group Poverty • 20 percent of African Americans and Hispanics live in poverty • 10 percent of Whites live in poverty • William Julius Wilson suggests disadvantaged minorities direct their aggression toward those close to them

  9. Social Structure Theories • Social and economic forces in deteriorated lower-class areas push residents into criminal behavior patterns • Social structure theories include, social disorganization, strain theory, and cultural deviance theory • Each theory suggests that socially isolated people living in disorganized areas are the ones most likely to experience crime-producing social forces

  10. Figure 6.3 The Three Branches of Social Structure Theory

  11. Social Disorganization Theories • Links crime rates to neighborhood ecological characteristics • Social disorganization includes low income groups with large single-parent households and institutions of broken down social control • Residents in crime-ridden areas are trying to leave at the earliest opportunity

  12. Figure 6.4 Social Disorganizational Theory

  13. Social Disorganization Theories • The Work of Shaw and McKay • Linked transitional slum areas to the inclination to commit crime • Transitional neighborhoods are incapable of inducing residents to defend against criminal groups • Concentric zone mapping identified the inner-city transitional zones as having the heaviest concentration of crime. • Slum children choose to join gangs when values are in conflict with existing middle-class norms • Crime rates correspond to neighborhood structure according to Shaw and McKay

  14. Figure 6.5 Shaw and McKay’s Concentric Zones Map of Chicago

  15. Social Disorganization Theories • The Social Ecology School • Community deterioration: Associated with crime • Disorder, poverty, alienation, dissociation, and fear of crime are characteristic of community deterioration • Poverty concentration: Economically disadvantaged neighborhoods have higher rates of serious crimes (concentration effect) • Chronic unemployment: Limited employment destabilizes households

  16. Social Disorganization Theories • Community fear: Social and physical incivilities increase the fear of crime (i.e. graffiti, prostitutes, dirt, and noise) • Race and fear: Fear by Whites is based on racial stereotypes. Fear by minorities is greater • Gangs and fear: Open activities of brazen gang activity creates community fear • Mistrust and fear: A “siege mentality” develops based on mistrust of the outside world • Community change: Communities undergoing rapid structural changes experience great changes in crime rates (gentrification) • Change and decline: Neighborhoods most at risk contain large numbers of single-parent families and social strain

  17. CNN Clip - New Approaches To Gang Problems

  18. Social Disorganization Theories • Collective Efficacy • Cohesive communities develop interpersonal ties and mutual trust • Informal Social Control: Involves peers, families, and relatives • Institutional Social Control: Involves schools, churches, businesses, social agencies • Public Social Control: Policing • Social support/Altruism: crime rates are lower in areas with a positive social climate

  19. Strain Theories • Theories that view crime as a direct result of lower-class frustration and anger. • Anomie (from the Greek word a nomos, without norms) – in an anomic society rules of behavior have broken down because of rapid social change, war, or famine. • Mechanical solidarity: pre-industrial styled societies held together by traditions and shared values • Organic solidarity: Complex post-industrial societies which are interdependent for services and needs

  20. Figure 6.6 The Basic Components of Strain Theory

  21. Strain Theories • Theory of Anomie (Robert K. Merton) • Merton argued that socially mandated goals are uniform throughout society and access to legitimate means to achieve those goals is bound by class and status • Some people have inadequate means to attain societal goals. • Modes of Social Adaptation • Conformity • Innovation • Ritualism • Retreatism • Rebellion

  22. Table 6.2 Typology of Individual Mode of Adaptation

  23. Strain Theories • Evaluation of Anomie Theory • Social inequality leads to perceptions of anomie • People innovate to resolve goals-means conflict • Merton’s theory does not explain why people choose certain types of crime

  24. Strain Theories • Institutional Anomie Theory (Steven Messner & Richard Rosenfeld) • Update of Merton’s theory describes the “American Dream” as both a goal and a process • Goals refer to material goods and wealth • Process involves being socialized to pursue material success • Certain institutions have been rendered powerless and obsolete in controlling anomie such as religious and charitable institutions • Economic terms are part of the common American vernacular

  25. Strain Theories • Relative Deprivation Theory • Perceptions of economic and social inequality lead to feelings of envy, mistrust, and aggression • Lower-class people feel both deprived and embittered • Minorities feel relative deprivation more acutely than nonminorities

  26. Strain Theories • General Strain Theory • Robert Agnew GST explains why individuals who feel stress and strain commit crime • Negative Affective States: anger, frustration, and adverse emotions emerge in destructive relationships

  27. Figure 6.7 Elements of General Strain Theory

  28. Strain Theories • Multiple Sources of Stress • Criminality is the direct result of negative affective states • Failure to achieve positively valued goals • Disjunction of expectations and achievements • Removal of positively valued stimuli • Presentation of negative stimuli • Agnew suggests the greater the intensity and frequency of strain experiences, the more likely criminality will occur

  29. Strain Theories • Sources of Strain • Social sources: Peer and social groups • Community sources: Relative deprivation producing negative affective states in large population segments

  30. Strain Theories • Coping with Strain • Juveniles high in negative emotionality and low constraint are likely to react with antisocial behaviors • Crime provides relief from strain and stress for some people • Expectations increase with maturity, which may reduce the sources of strain

  31. Strain Theories • Evaluating GST • Sources of strain vary over the life course • Empirical evidence supports that indicators of social strain are linked with criminality • Gender issues: GST does not adequately account for gender differences in crime rate. • Females may be socialized to turn stress inward, whereas males turn their frustration outwards through aggression • Evidence suggests that people who fail to meet success goals are more likely to engage in criminal behavior

  32. Cultural Deviance Theory • Combines the effects of social disorganization and strain to explain criminality • Lower classes create an independent subculture with its own set of rules and values • Subcultural norms clash with conventional values

  33. Figure 6.8 Elements of Cultural Deviance Theory

  34. Cultural Deviance Theory • Conduct Norms • Thorsten Sellin suggested criminal law is an expression of the rules of the dominant culture • Culture conflict occurs when the rules expressed in the criminal law clash with the demands of conduct norms

  35. Cultural Deviance Theory • Focal Concerns • Walter B. Miller identified the focal concerns of the lower-class environments • Trouble • Toughness • Smartness • Excitement • Fate • Autonomy • clinging to lower class focal concerns promotes illegal or violent behavior.

  36. Cultural Deviance Theory • Theory of Delinquent Subcultures • Albert Cohen suggests lower-class youths protest again the norms and values of the middle class (status frustration) • Teachers, employers, and authority figures set the standards referred to as middle-class measuring rods • Cohen contends lower-class boys will form deviant subcultures when frustrated

  37. Cultural Deviance Theory • Formation of the Deviant Subculture • Corner boy: Most common response to middle-class rejection, engages in petty or status offenses • College boy: embraces cultural and social values of the middle class, is ill-equipped academically, socially, and linguistically to achieve • Delinquent boy: adopts values and norms in opposition to middle-class values, engages in short-run hedonism (reaction formation)

  38. Cultural Deviance Theory • Theory of Differential Opportunity • Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin suggested people share the same goals but have limited means to achieve them • Because of differential opportunity, young people are likely to join gangs • Criminal gangs exist in stable neighborhoods • Conflict gangs develop in areas unable to provide legitimate or illegitimate opportunities • Retreatist gangs are double failures constantly searching for a way to get high

  39. Cultural Deviance Theory • Evaluating Social Structure theories • The core concepts appear valid • Factors that cause strain produce social disorganization • Critics charge lower-class crimes rates are attributable to biases in the criminal justice system • Not all members of a disorganized community respond by committing crime

  40. Public Policy Implications of Social Structure Theory • Social structure theory has significantly impacted public policy • Public welfare programs • Chicago Area Projects • War on poverty • Head Start, Neighborhood Legal Services, and Community Action programs