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The area is a Chicago suburb where the social and economic structure has gone through numerous stages of change. Middle-class and leading generally comfortable lives, the majority of the locals. The majority of the population is working class and has a job. The neighborhood has an average level of economic development and is socially and economically well-organized. The residential communities are popular, and the community has significant cultural values. The case has strong work-related ideals and pursues financial success. The neighborhood takes pleasure in its way of life, and it actively promotes both its physical health and its cultural values. The neighborhood regards the conventional institutions highly. The social institutions such as school control any anti-social behavior by applying the appropriate corrective measures.
Social control is relatively strong, and the community has values, norms, and rules that the members follow. The family institution is highly valued, and the parents strive to maintain good relations among the family members. Most of the parents have time with their kids and guide them on living a healthy social life. The neighborhood has several voluntary organizations that regulate the behaviors of the youth. The organizations offer guidance and counseling services to the youths with deviant behaviors. Through the social institutions, the neighborhood enjoys a serene and peaceful environment. As such, the area is socially organized, and criminal cases are minimal. The community attaches high value to education, and most of them are literate. Further, the neighborhood is characterized by mutual respect and trust among its members.
Sociologists define the social structure as the social forces at the macro-level that includes the patterns of relationships that are institutionalized along with social institutions. In sociology, the major recognized social institutions include education, family, religion, politics, media, law as well as the economy (Ugander et al. 2012). The social institutions are interdependent, and they interrelate to form the overarching social structure of any given society. In the case, the institutions work separately, and this has resulted to disorganizations since there are no proper rules and norms to be followed by the society members. According to the social structure theory, the complex system in the society works collectively to promote stability as well as solidarity. The important concepts of the social structure perspective include social structure, manifest functions, latent functions along with the social functions. The social structure theory asserts that criminal behaviors often exist within the social structure. The three subtypes of social structure theories are the social disorganization theory, cultural conflict theory and strain theory (Bullock, 2014). The case neighborhood has a strong social structure and the social institutions such as churches, family, and schoolwork collectively to maintain peace, stability, and cohesiveness.
The social disorganization theory focuses on the capacity of the neighborhood social ties in regulating social unity and collectiveness the theory argues that the high crime rates the at characterize the socially disorganized areas expose the population to criminal cultures and in the process, weakens the social controls. Often, the lower-class neighborhoods are isolated from the opportunities and resources available to the middle and upper classes. The isolation weakens the conventional value systems, and the residents end up developing norms that overlook antisocial behavior (Bullock, 2014). As a result, the residents develop a divergent system of values that is transmitted culturally through the subsequent generations. The case neighborhood is socially organized, and some proper rules and regulations govern the behaviors of the society members. Besides, the neighborhood does not condone any form of criminal behavior, gang activities, and other anti-social behaviors.
Collective efficacy describes the association of social cohesion in a given neighborhood that is built on high levels of mutual support along with trust. The members of the society intervene in any given situation for the good of others. The collective efficacy provides a platform through which the structural conditions of the neighborhood influence the levels of crime (Mennis, Dayanim & Grunwald, 2013). The case neighborhood enjoys collective efficacy due to the mutual respect, unity, and togetherness among its members the cultural orientation is at its maximum. Interpersonal conflicts and violence among members due to the strong social interactions. The social organization has strengthened cultural orientation as well as collective efficacy in the case neighborhood.
Conclusively, the social structural theories emphasize the correlation between the social structure of neighborhoods and the criminal behavior. The dynamics in the human behaviors especially their interactions with at work or school and with their peers and family is significant in the study of the causes of criminal activities (Bullock, 2014). The social disorganization theory associates crime rates with the neighborhood conditions and other ecological conditions. For instance, in the case neighborhood, crime rates are minimal due to the organization of the social institutions.
Bullock, K. (2014). Introduction. In Citizens, Community and Crime Control (pp. 1-24). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Mennis, J., Dayanim, S. L., & Grunwald, H. (2013). Neighborhood collective efficacy and dimensions of diversity: a multilevel analysis. Environment and Planning A, 45(9), 2176-2193.
Ugander, J., Backstrom, L., Marlow, C., & Kleinberg, J. (2012). Structural diversity in social contagion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(16), 5962-5966.
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