How The Tent City Video Supports The Social Structure Theory

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In the criminal justice system, different theories are looked at to see why criminal acts are committed and what mindset must a person have to commit these acts. Two theories that come up are that of the social structure theory and the social process and social development theory which can both be argued as to why criminal behaviors exist in society today. This paper will take a look at the Tent City, Arizona video and how it supports the social structure theory. This paper will discuss how the tent city video supports the social structure theory in addition to the primary subject or content of the video. It will also discuss social issues raised in the video and major principles of sociological theory addressed in the video. To conclude, it will talk about possible ramification for social policy change. The social structure theory is the societal and economic evaluation of groups of people. Social structure theory can also be referred to the social class system. Society is broken into “the rich”, “the middle class”, and “the poor”. This is the most simplistic breakdown of the social structure theory but it will allow us to examine Tent City, Arizona. The social structure theory is used in the jail system in Maricopa County on a macro-level but the social structure theory is removed on the micro-level of Tent City. In Tent City there is no social structure, there are no extras allowed in the tents. The inmates go in and only have the tents. They do not have anything with them and things like tobacco are not allowed. The structure is not one based on economics or possessions that can be bartered. Inmates have a class system in some of the other jails but in Tent City, all inmates are exactly the same. In Tent City, ... ... middle of paper ... ...sociological theory addressed in the video; what are possible ramification for social policy change. By watching the video we were able to see that the Tent City supports social structure because it creates an environment that breeds the criminal element. The primary content exhibited in the video was that of organization, control and discipline. Social issues that arise in Tent City are violent crimes and hate crimes due to the inmate make-up and how they establish their own set of rules. A major principle of the sociological theory is poverty. Many inmates live at or below the poverty line and commit crimes to feed their drug addiction. Ramifications that could come about due to social policy change include reduced violent crime. This can occur with the segregation of inmates by race which would keep different races from attacking and assaulting each other.

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