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Terms in this set (13)

The seeds of crime lie within people and the only way to protect public safety is to incapacitate this dangerous class- E.A. Hooton
Lombroso and Hooton ignored the larger changes in society that were occurring around them
Perhaps nowhere was social change more rapid and more dramatic than in Chicago; was settling place for virtually every racial and ethnic group
Scholars at University of Chicago believed that the key to understanding crime lay not in studying the traits of individuals but in studying the traits of neighborhoods
The line of inquiry was developed most clearly by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay who worked at the Institute for Social Research in Chicago and who were deeply influenced by the thinking of sociologists at the University of Chicago
Ernest Burgess had theorized that urban areas grow through a process of continual expansion from their inner core toward outer areas-zone in transition (impoverished newcomers settle attracted by factory jobs and inexpensive housing); zone of workingmen's home; residential zone; commuter's zone
Shaw and McKay believed that Burgess's theory of the city might help direct their investigations of juvenile delinquency
Shaw and Mckay analyzed how measures of crime were distributed in the zones of the city and by hand they mapped out the addresses of each delinquent which they then compiled to compute rates of delinquency by census tract and then by city zone; they discovered that over time rates of crime by area remained relatively the same regardless of which ethnic group resided there which suggested the characteristics of the area (not the individuals living in the area) regulated levels of delinquency
Also learned that crime rates were pronounced in the zone of transition and became progressively lower as one moved away from the inner city toward the outer zones
They learned this information through in-depth interviews (called life histories) that they conducted with wayward adolescents
By 1960's Shaw and Mckay's theory of social disorganization had lost its appeal and its ability to direct research
Criminologists reconsidered the value of disorganization theory because of a more general interest in the ecology of crime; this approach analyzes how crime rates vary by ecological units (such as neighborhoods/cities/counties/states/nations); approach is often seen as being on the "macro-level" with the characteristics of geographical areas such as whether they are disorganized
Robert Sampson was most responsible for showing the relevance of using Shaw and Mckay's theory to illuminate crime in today's society