Social Disorganization Theory And The Field Of Criminology Essay

Social Disorganization Theory And The Field Of Criminology Essay

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It is widely believed, and reported that crime is higher in communities with higher populations of minority residents. While the authors of Criminological Thought (1990), overviewed what they considered the foundational theorists and contributors to the field of criminology, not all of those examined within the text emphasized the same things. It is the writers position that three of those contributors examined within the book, the respective theories of Earl Richard Quinney, Edwin Sutherland, and Robert Ezra Park, specifically Park’s Social Disorganization Theory, Quinney’s Conflict Theory, and Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory are often utilized to describe the plight of instability in urban communities and crime. This paper begins with a brief overview of the theories, and then examines each with a goal to contextualize the relationship of crime to residential turnover in minority communities. Of each of these major theories, Edwin Sutherland’s views on differential association are the most widely accepted across the field, allowing open dialogue and analysis for perceptions of residential turnover caused by crime in minority communities.
Conflict Theory
Quinney’s conflict theory essentially considers system social inequality as the root causal factor in the perceptions of crime in minority communities. Quinney subscribed in part to Marxist ideology (Mutchnick et al., 1990). Quinney’s views on criminality and social inequality are rooted in the belief that class conflict creates an environment favoring those with greater means of accumulation over those with lesser means of accumulation. The resultant interpretation by Quinney followers is greater means to wealth equates to lesser involvement in criminal act...


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...gued within minority communities that the criminal justice system is a form social control whereby allowing different components of the system to control minority communities. Depending on the entry point, one is introduced to the criminal justice system as a juvenile or adult. Minority juveniles and adults alike subsequently face higher rates of arrest and incarceration for offenses than do non-minority counterparts. This is an adaptation of changing policing priorities and strategies focusing targeted enforcement on the minority community based on the both real and imagined belief crime tougher enforcement is necessary within highly populated minority areas (Opotow, 2001). The processes created within the system lack transparency and fail to create equitable distribution of justice furthering systemic inequality and social conflict rather than reconciling it.

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