Social Structure Theory

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Social structure theories look at the formal and informal economic and social arrangements of society that cause crime and deviance. The negative aspects of social structure such as disorganization within a family, poverty, and disadvantages because of lack of success in educational areas are looked upon as the producers of criminal behavior (Schmalleger, 2012). The three major types of social structure theories are Social Disorganization, Strain, and Culture Conflict (Schmalleger, 2012).
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. This theory views society as a living organism and that criminal behavior is compared to a disease.
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They are all comparable as they all involve groups, individuals, and expectations of society 9Schmalleger, 2012). The theories are all as to the way the groups or individuals relate to what is acceptable to society. Social disorganization theory views criminal behavior because of changes in society on differing levels and because of an environment that is conducive to criminal behavior (Schmalleger, 2012). Strain theory is similar because the environment plays a role however, it is the measure of success by society and lack of individuals that promote criminal behavior. Social disorganization and strain theory are comparable because of the environment factor, the culture conflict theory is different because it does not look at an environmental factor but rather the idea of mainstream society. The belief is based on having a poor socioeconomic status that is not accepted by society (Schmalleger, 2012). Strain theory is different in its specification of the type of social relationship that leads to delinquency and the motivation for delinquency (Agnew, 1992). Strain theory is the only theory that focuses explicitly on negative relationships with others and to argue that delinquency is the results from these negative relationships (Agnew, 1992). All three of the social theories rely on societal roles of groups, institutions, and their arrangements within society to provide the basis for criminological study. The associations are reviewed as an aspect of social structure and crime because of associations due to economic struggles by classes of people or groups (Schmalleger, 2012). Social disorganization theory views society as a living organism and that criminal behavior is compared to a disease. Strain theory looks at the lack of fit between socially approved success
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