Explanations Of Criminal Behavior Essay

615 words - 3 pages

Explanations of Criminal Behavior
In the early 1900s, sociologists at the University of Chicago applied the concept of social disorganization to the explanation of crime, delinquency, and other social problems. With origins in the study of ecology, social disorganization refers to the failure of social organizations or social institutions in certain neighborhoods and communities. Robert Ezra Park’s research “demonstrated that criminal behavior was independent of individual characteristics and much more dependent on disruptive social forces” (23). Park’s social disorganization theory forms the basis for several other theories in contemporary criminology. For example, the theories that have ...view middle of the document...

Messner and Rosenfeld advocated “at the cultural level, goals other than material success must be given greater prominence in our society, especially such activities as parenting, teaching, and serving the community” (Bernard et al., 2010, p. 169). Although single mothers in rural neighborhoods are more likely to have stable social networks and access to community-based help programs than single mothers in urban neighborhoods, they are still part of a marginalized group that is confronted with social strain through stressful life events. Using drug as a coping response to interpersonal problems may seem the only way. As rural areas tend to have collective efficacy, methamphetamine use involves stable social networks. However, research does find the severity of meth use “was related positively to percent female-headed households” (Roussell, Holmes, & Anderson-Sprecher, 2008). This finding can also be attributed to strain theory at the individual level in rural communities. These women may also resort to prostitution as a result of the experience of strain or stress.
General strain theory hypothesizes that experiencing...

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