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Especially important in this variant of social disorganization theory is the development of intergenerational networks, the mutual transferral of advice, material goods, and information about child rearing, and expectations for the joint informal control, support, and supervision of children within the neighbourhood (Sampson, Morenoff and Earls, 1999). Sampson (1986) indicates that social disorganization may have an effect on youth violence through its effects on family structures and stability. The social capital/collective efficacy framework of Sampson and his colleagues argues that social disorganization can reduce social capital and collective efficacy and thereby increase crime and violence rates.
They argued instead that areas characterized by economic deprivation had high rates of population turnover, since these were undesirable residential communities, which people left once it became feasible for them to do so.
Socio-economically deprived areas also tended to be settled by newly arrived immigrants, which resulted in the ethnic and racial heterogeneity of these areas.
Essentially, Sampson (1986) recognized the relationship of social disorganization theory to control theory and routine activities/lifestyle theory.
To test his assertions, Sampson (1986) used three measures of family structure.
Social disorganization theory grew out of research conducted in Chicago by Shaw and Mc Kay (see Shaw and Mc Kay, 1942). Assessing 'neighbourhood effects': Social processes and new directions in research.
Using spatial maps to examine the residential locations of juveniles referred to Chicago courts, Shaw and Mc Kay discovered that rates of crime were not evenly dispersed across time and space in the city.
He suggested that traditional social disorganization variables may influence community crime rates when taking into account the effects of levels of family disruption.
This may occur by (1)removing an important set of control structures over youths’ behaviour, and (2)creating greater opportunities for criminal victimization (i.e., through the lack of capable guardianship).
For example, research has been conducted to test for the “reciprocal effects” of social disorganization (Bursik, 1986) and to test for the potential impact that levels of social disorganization of given communities may have on neighbouring communities (Heitgerd and Bursik, 1987). In Joan Mc Cord (Ed.), Facts, Frameworks, and Forecasts: Advances in Criminological Theory (vol.
In addition, the scope of the theory was adjusted and expanded to include constructs beyond the macro-level components originally specified by Shaw and Mc Kay (i.e., low socio-economic status, residential mobility and racial heterogeneity).