Structural Choice And Social Disorganization Theory

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Crime occurs commonly in today’s society, due to this, criminologists are trying to understand what social factors cause crime. To solve this, there are many theories about what causes crime and why crime occurs in certain areas, however this paper only outlines two of them: Structural-Choice theory and Social Disorganization Theory. Structural-Choice Theory and Social Disorganization Theory: A Summary Structural-Choice theory, first proposed by Terance Meithe and Robert Meier in 1990, uses elements from rational-choice theory and opportunity perspectives to analyze the importance of the interaction between the variables. This theory is mostly used to predict victimization through structural and choice variables. The structural models in this…show more content…
In structural choice theory, "physical proximity to motivated offenders, exposure to high-risk environments, target attractiveness, and the absence of guardianship as necessary conditions for predatory crime" (Miethe & Meier, 1990, pp. 244-245). While in social disorganization theory, crime occurs in certain locations based “on the effectiveness of informal mechanisms by which residents themselves achieve public order” (Sampson et al. 1997: 918). Social disorganization focuses on how lack of informal social controls in a neighborhood or community can lead to increases in crime rates, while structural choice focuses on how the structure of the area (proximity to motivated offender and exposure to risk) along with victimization variables (lack of guardianship and target attractiveness) come together for crime to occur in certain…show more content…
To test this theory, the researchers used several different forms of information. They used U.S. census data, UCR summary forms one and three, along with U.S. state and geographical files to develop boundaries between the counties. The results of this study showed that violent crime rate varies by race and socioeconomic statuses. This study also found evidence that racial and socioeconomic clustering occurs, supporting social disorganizations theory that crime clusters in certain areas. The study also found that areas located near areas of higher crime rates were more likely to see an increase in crime rates, and that in areas with higher concentrations of people more crime occurred. To solve this problem the researchers suggested that “The social and structural characteristics of street segments. Economic deprivation, unsupervised teens, and low collective efficacy are all “risk factors” in our analysis for presence in a chronic crime hot spot street segment” Weisburd, Groff, and Yang
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