This entry focuses on the three major sociological theories of crime and delinquency: strain, social learning, and control theories.
Social disorganization theory posits that crime rates are interrelated with issues of social pathology, and are often associated with perspectives of the Chicago School of criminology; this theory implies a direct link between residential location as a factor in influencing a person’s inclination towards engaging in …
Social structure theories look at the formal and informal economic and social arrangements of society that cause crime and deviance. Social disorganization theory is based on the idea that changes, conflict, and the lack of social consensus in society are the reasons for criminal behavior. …
Social process theory views criminality as a function of people’s interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society; people in all walks of life have the potential to become criminals if they maintain destructive social relationships.
Social structure theories stress that crime results from economic and other problems in how society is structured and from poverty and other problems in neighborhoods.
Social structure theories suggest people’s places in the socioeconomic structure influence their chances of becoming a criminal. Poor people are more likely to commit crimes because they are unable to achieve monetary or social success in any other way.
The notion of social structure implies, in other words, that human beings are not completely free and autonomous in their choices and actions but are instead constrained by the social world they inhabit and the social relations they form with one another.
By referencing to the economic and social arrangement of society. What do all social structure theories have in common? –Emphasizes relationships among social institutions.
How do sociological theories explain crime?
Sociological theories of criminology believe that society influences a person to become a criminal. Examples include the social learning theory, which says that people learn criminal behavior from the people around them, and social conflict theory, which says that class warfare is responsible for crime.
Social problems arise from fundamental faults in the structure of a society and both reflect and reinforce inequalities based on social class, race, gender, and other dimensions. Successful solutions to social problems must involve far-reaching change in the structure of society.
Functional Theory: Social structure is essential because it creates order and predictability in a society (Parsons, 1951). –Connects people to larger society through webbed pattern of social relationships (thus, homeless people are at a disadvantage ’cause little connections).
It spares us from hundreds the humans perform of all those little jobs that would otherwise have to be performed before every small act, and it also gives groups and societies a degree of stability and continuity. Social structure is basically the social reality, which influences our daily life.