Are The Social Structure Theories The Explanation For Juvenile Delinquency?

1888 Words Dec 10th, 2016 8 Pages
Are the Social Structure Theories the Explanation for Juvenile Delinquency?
Social Structure Theories are used in sociology to explain delinquency through socioeconomic conditions and cultural values (Siegal, 132). Within the Social Structure Theory, lies three different “sub-theories”: Social Disorganization Theory, Strain Theory and Cultural Deviance Theory that are separate yet weave their way around each other. This paper will discuss their history, studies done along with the results, and the effective programs that were created for and or about these theories.
History of Social Disorganization Theory Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay, Chicago based criminologists discovered the social disorganization theory through their research in 1942 (Bond, 2015). While mapping out delinquency rates around Chicago, both Shaw and McKay discovered transitional neighborhoods experienced higher crime rates because of certain common problems. These common problems might include: never ending poverty, high level of ethnic/cultural mixing, the inability of the community to control its many residents (the informal social control is impaired), and the dilapidation of the education system, businesses, and buildings in those neighborhoods. All of these reasons can cause the inhabitants within these communities become frustrated, feel hopeless, and no longer trust conventional society because of the developed siege mentality (Siegel, 133-136) (Bond, 2015). Furthermore,…

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