Essay about Crime Rates Across Communities By Robert Shaw And Henry D. Mckay

Essay about Crime Rates Across Communities By Robert Shaw And Henry D. Mckay

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Criminology has always been an area of ardent interest for researchers, especially over the most recent decades. As crime rates have continued to vary over the decades, the study of criminology has increased as a result, thus, becoming more prominent than ever before. Theories, both at the micro and macro level of society, have been developed by many criminologists in order to explain the increases and decreases of the crime rate over the years and why certain factors tend to affect criminal behavior. By utilizing theories, researchers have been able to seek the best solutions available in order to apply them to policies in which they firmly believe will reduce the overall crime rate.
One of the most prominent theories used today by criminologist to explain the variations in crime rates across communities is social disorganization theory in which was developed during the year of 1942, by Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay, two criminology researchers from the Chicago School of criminology. Social disorganization theory sought to link certain neighborhood characteristics, such as residential mobility, heterogeneity of a population, and socioeconomic status, to crime rates by studying the impact that characteristics have on a neighborhoods ability to institute social control and crime prevention strategies.
Theoretical Foundation

As mentioned above, social disorganization theory was originally founded by Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay during the early 1940’s, however, the focus on structural causes of crime emerged early in the Europe during the early nineteenth century (Akers and Sellers, 2013). Both Adolphe Quetelet and Andre-Michel Gurrey used French crime data to investigate structural sources of crime during the early nine...


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... data, in confection with official records, when empirically testing this theory (Kurbin, 2009).
Lastly, a final criticism in which social disorganization has faced is researcher’s ongoing challenge to empirically test mediating factors, such as social ties, social control, collective efficacy and social control, due to a reliance on official data (Kurbin, 2009). Byrne and Sampson (1986) noted that due to the lack of attention paid to the processes that often mediate the effect of community characteristics, a major conceptional limitation of ecological research had presented (As cited in Kurbin, 2009). There have only been a handful of studies to successfully document the theoretical processes in which have been laid out by social disorganization theory, that suggest the process may in fact be as straightforward as Shaw and McKay claimed it to be (Kurbin, 2009).

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