Social Disorganization Theory Analysis

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Social problems generally could be considered as behaviors or conditions which could have negative impacts on a large number of people and need to be addressed, for example, climate change, poverty, population ageing and so on. With the continuous development of society, social issues are changing and theoretical perspectives to them are changing as well. A major shift in social problems approaches could be the change from realism to constructionism. This paper will review the development of theoretical perspectives to social problems and discuss a major shift in social problem theorizing by comparing key characteristics, strengths and weakness of some earlier and later theoretical approaches. To address the discussion, this paper will firstly …show more content…
Theorists working with this approach view society as a complex and dynamic system in which all parts are interdependent (Jamrozik & Nocella 1998). When these parts of social system are well coordinated, social environment is stable and social rules have capacity to control over people. However, various social changes, for example, urbanization and immigration, might break down the equilibrium of social system, and then some parts of the society get out of tune with another. In the circumstances, the authority and influence of rules are undermined and social disorganization is produced. Rubington and Weinberg (2003) identify three types of social disorganization: normlessness, cultural conflict and breakdown. The first one refers to absence of rules in the society. Cultural conflict means that there are more than two opposing rules, while breakdown implies that social rules fail to regulate people’s behavior. When social disorganization occurs, individuals would feel stressful and be confused on how to act in the society, which might result in mental illness or deviant behavior. In order to reduce social disorganization, a number of researchers (Park 1967; Rubington & Weinberg 2003) suggest that some social changes should be slowed down and new social institutions should be …show more content…
This theoretical approach also links social problems to social rules and norms, and it agrees that social organizations could support social control. Deviant behavior could be defined as ‘a violation of normative expectations’ (Rubington & Weinberg 2003, pp.143). When some individuals’ behaviors go against dominated social norms in the context, these behaviors could be regarded as deviant behaviors. A number of theorists (Sutherland & Cressey 1966; Rubington & Weinberg 2003) point out that deviant behaviors are generally caused by the failure in socialization. In the process, individuals learn deviant ways instead of learning conventional ways. To reduce deviant behaviors, researchers call for re-socialization of people in primary group relations and increase of legitimate opportunities. Strengthening social control also could be a way to solve social problems related to deviant behaviors. In practice, deviant behavior perspective is useful to analyze criminal and delinquent behaviors in the society. However, if there is lack of a widespread agreement of social norms in certain social context, the approach might fail to explain or deal with social problems. In addition, not all deviant behaviors would endanger society and can be recognized as social

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