Social Disorganization Theory

In sociology the social disorganization theory is one of the most important theories developed by the Chicago school related to ecological theories. The theory directly links crime to neighborhood ecological characteristics.

A big part of social disorganization is that location matters or in other words where a person lives is a huge factor if that person will be involved in crime or criminal activities. The theory suggests that if a person will be involved in criminal activities location will matter more than any other factor more than age, gender, or race another example suggests that young kids from troubled neighborhoods will partake in a matter that is relative to where they live, meaning an area that will approve of delinquent behavior and so younger kids will acquire criminal behavior in this social and cultural setting.

Larry Gaines and Roger Miller say in their book “criminal justice in action” that crime is a large product of unfavorable conditions in certain communities, according to the social disorganization theory there are ecological factors that lead to high rates of crimes in these areas and these factors are linked to constantly rising levels of high school dropouts unemployment and single-parent homes.

The theory is not meant to be applied to all types of criminal behavior just street crimes at the neighborhood level. The theory has not been used to explain organized crime, corporate crime or deviant behaviors that take place outside neighborhood settings.

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