Park's And Burgess Concentric Zone Model To Crime In Toronto

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Applying Park’s and Burgess’ Concentric Zone Model to Crime in Toronto
Toronto’s main areas of criminal activity can be explained through different sociological theories of crime, including social disorganization theory, Robert Park’s and Ernest Burgess’ concentric zone model, and Howard Becker’s labelling theory. Social disorganization theory is an example of a social structure theory. Social structure theories include an emphasis on social stratification, unequal distribution of wealth, and how these circumstances affect social values and norms (Slideshow Oct 28th). Specifically, social disorganization theory states that a breakdown of the networks, norms, and trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation among residents can lead to …show more content…

This creates weaker social institutions, and a lack of community values, causing crime to occur. There is a lack of essential services with a high rate of unemployment, single-parent families, dependence on social assistance, and substandard housing. Dependence on social assistance, unemployment, and substandard housing is seen in the public housing projects in the transition zone, and single- parent families may be forced to live there due to a single income budget. Due to the lack of essential services, social institutions have broken down and lack authority to control behaviour, causing crime to rise. Poverty, overcrowding, ethnic and cultural heterogeneity and residential instability is present (Slideshow, Oct 28th). These factors contribute to a lack of community values and weakens social cohesion in the neighbourhood, causing people to commit crime. The further you move away from Bay Street, there is an increased amount of community values and residential stability. Social norms are known and shared, resulting in fewer crime rates. Therefore, the commuter zone would have the lowest crime rates as they have the highest sense of community values and residential stability. The transition zone would have the highest crime rates as they lack a sense of community and residential instability is highly …show more content…

Transition zones are often perceived as criminal due to the “ghettoization” of the neighbourhood. Crime may not be occurring here, but the neighbourhood is perceived as a hub of criminal activity. Crime could result, not from the effect of social stratification, class divide, and social values, but from the labelling of the neighbourhood as “ghetto” and criminal. The idea of a label contributing to criminal behaviour or activity was first characterized by Howard Becker. Becker defined labelling theory as the stigma (or label) affixed through the criminalization process may lead individuals to develop a deviant self-image and feel separate from the “normal” community, and thus, continue with deviant behaviour (Text, pg. 282). People incorporate socially assigned deviant labels in their sense of self. Negative labels stigmatize and being labelled as a social deviant may cause permanent damage. (Slideshow, Nov 9th). Due to the “ghettoization” of the neighbourhood, residents of the transition zone feel separate from the “normal” community. There is a lack of community values and social cohesion which contributes to the feelings of being abnormal. Labelling theory could cause individuals living in a transient neighbourhood to commit deviant acts and pursue criminal behaviour because their

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