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Many theories, at both the macro and micro level, have been proposed to explain juvenile crime. Some prominent theories include Social Disorganization theory, Differential Social Organization theory, Social Control theory, and Differential Association theory. When determining which theories are more valid, the question must be explored whether people deviate because of what they learn or from how they are controlled? Mercer L. Sullivan's book, "Getting Paid" Youth Crime and Work in the Inner City clearly suggests that the learning theories both at the macro level, Differential social organization, and micro level, Differential association theory, are the more accurate of the two types of theory. Two major sociological theories explain youth crime at the macro level. The first is Social Disorganization theory, created in 1969 by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay. The theory resulted from a study of juvenile delinquency in Chicago using information from 1900 to 1940, which attempts to answer the question of how aspects of the structure of a community contribute to social control. The study found that a community that is unable to achieve common values has a high rate of delinquency. Shaw and McKay looked at the physical appearance of the neighborhoods, the average income of the population, the ethnicity of the neighborhood, the percent of renters versus owners, and how fast the population of the area changed. These factors all contribute to neighborhood delinquency. The text provides some evidence to support this theory in Table 14, "Index rankings of reported crimes in police incorporating the neighborhoods." This chart shows Projectville ranked highest in every category except motor vehicle theft and burglary, La Barriada ranked second, and Hamilton Park lowest. The descriptions of the neighborhoods in Table 1 indicate that Projectville has the lowest income, sitting significantly below the poverty level, while Hamilton Park has the highest income and lowest poverty percent. La Barriada fell in the middle on both categories. This information supports the theory. Ethnicity of the neighborhoods, however, one of the primary reasons for delinquency according to this theory, is not consistent in this study. Projectville, the highest in crime, is the one with the least ethnic heterogeneity, according to Table 6, with 91% black, 3% white and 6% other. La Barriada, with the middle crime rate, was the one with the most heterogeneity: 34% white, 4% black and 62% other. The second theory, Differential Social Organization, was created by Edwin Sutherland. This theory proposes that a group or societal crime rate is determined by the extent to which it is organized in favor of crime versus organized against crime. According to the theory, an organized neighborhood is one that has a strong infrastructure in place to fight and deter crime. Groups that the theory takes into account as being detrimental to crime are the police, schools, families, and other neighborhood
Names mentioned in this term paper
Mercer L. Sullivan, Edwin Sutherland, Clifford Shaw, Hirchi, Travis Hirschi, Henry McKay, Giles, white,
Organizations talked about in this essay
Locations included in this essay
Projectville, La Barriada, Chicago, Manhattan,
Facility mentioned in this research material
Hamilton Park, …Hamilton Park,
Keywords included in this research material
theory, crime rate, Park, youths, social control, social control theory, differential association theory, Social Disorganization theory, social organization, police, the neighborhoods, criminal justice system, learning theories, Edwin Sutherland, criminal behavior, gold chains, delinquency, juvenile delinquency, motor vehicle theft, police officer, poverty level, Travis Hirschi, macro, other people, physical appearance, Inner City, crimes, moral, an education, youth culture, job market, junior high, main point, high school, ethnicity, shows, offender, conventional, information, pawnshops, money making, diligent, burglary, opportunities, sociological, decent, negatives, community, gangs, mafia,