Jul 26, 2017

What is the difference between “social structure” and “culture?

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Criminal Behavior. Social structure and crime


***Question: What is the difference between “social structure” and “culture?” Which is more strongly related to crime and why? How well do these theories explain criminal behavior? What are their strengths and weaknesses? •Your answers should be no longer than 1 page per each question (single-spaced, 12 inch type, 1 inch margins). Please avoid, to the extent possible, anecdotes and personal stories. •Each reply will be evaluated on clarity, logic, and level of documentation. Your papers must be in your OWN words. This means that you must cite your sources within the text and provide to your facilitator a list of references. You may use outside academic sources. BOOK: `Criminological Theory: Past to Present` fourth edition, by Cullen and Agnew. Part III • The Chicago School: The City, Social Disorganization, and Crime 7. Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay 8. A Theory of Race, Crime, and Urban Inequality Robert J. Sampson and William Julius Wilson 9. Collective Efficacy and Crime Robert J. Sampson, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Felton Earls Part IV • Learning to Be a Criminal: Differential Association, Subcultural, and Social Learning Theories 10. A Theory of Differential Association Edwin H. Sutherland and Donald R. Cressey 11. A Social Learning Theory of Crime Ronald L. Akers 12. Code of the Street Elijah Anderson


The Chicago School: The City, Social Disorganization, and Crime

Individualistic theories of crime were dominant into the early 20th century

Ignored larger forces in society that could  influence crime

The U.S. changed from a land of small stable communities to a land dominated by crowded cities

Sociologists argued these changes  and forces outside the individual influenced criminal behavior


Social Disorganization in the City

In the early 1900s, Chicago, like other cities, underwent rapid social change
Ernest Burgess theorized urban areas grew from their inner core toward outer areas
Concentric zone theory
Most important zone: Zone in


Where the newcomers settled
Criminal behaviorNameCourseInstructorDate Social structure and crime Social structure relates to organization of a society through social institutions, these could include religious, political, economic, educational and family. At the same time, there is stratification based on status and roles in the society. On the other hand, culture relates to behaviors, beliefs, institutions and attitudes that dominate an organization or group. Social structure is more related to crime than culture. The mainstream society offers an avenue through which there is a unified social system. However, in areas where there is deprivation and weak institutions the prevalence of crime is common. Anderson (1994) stated that affinity to violence in inner city ghettos dominated by African Americans is an extension of lack of social structures. Thus, social structures are associated more with crime as economic deprivation, hopelessness and drug abuse are the consequence of lack of social institutions and this is manifested in aggression and violence among the residents. Social learning does have an impact on the level of criminal activities especially in personal groups (Cullen & Agnew, 2011). Nonetheless, culture plays a less prominent role that the social structure as it is the lack of socia...

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