Theory Matrix Paper on Social disorganization(p.519 in text)

Theory Matrix

Name of theorySocial disorganization(p.519 in text)
Author(s) of theoryBursik, Robert J.
Major ideas behind theory.The differences in social and economic levels among  population living in an area is directly proportional to the crime rates witnessed in an  areas
Policy implications behind theory.The theory of social disorganization has enabled policy makers to understand that, to control crime in an area, effort should not only be concentrated on the criminal justice system like building of more prisons, but more emphasis should be placed on the root cause of these crimes. The Government should increase public spending in the areas that have high poverty levels. This is by funding projects that would improve the livelihood of the people in those areas. The government should also encourage agents that are involved in such development projects, as these agents will not only provide services to the people but also provide job opportunities to the communities. The theory suggests that programs that promote family preservation should be initiated in all areas that experience social disorganization, as this would help to empower and promote the development of families. Lastly, the theory supports the idea of engaging the people from the affected areas in any project that is to be established within those areas. Studies have shown that projects initiated by outsiders alone without involving the locals face many challenges and may not succeed
Methodological considerations for theory. Use of spatial maps/zone theory.                Shaw and McKay used spatial maps to evaluate the locations of the people who were facing various crime cases in courts. They discovered that most of these people came from low-income areas. Through spatial maps, they also discovered that crime cases were not evenly distributed but occurred in some parts only or most of the time.
Use of theory for studying our four-exemplar variables.   Physical statusEconomic statusPopulation status  The two theorists suggested that areas that experience more crime rates are known to have poor physical structures and are located near factories. They also proposed that change in population could influence crime rate in an area. The crime rate tends to decrease as one moves away from such areas. From the study, Shaw and McKay concluded that crime rates also decreased as rental prices increased. This is from the fact that high rental prices make people want to better their areas of stay. This is more observed in areas where residents are mostly homeowners. Homeowners would always strive to make their surroundings better. Natives of an area are also less likely to engage in crime, compared to foreign-borns, since they have a sense of belonging, have lived long enough in an area, and would not want the place to have a bad image because of their actions.  


Name of theoryHeith copes, Andy Hochstetler and Craig Forsyth about male bar fighters(p.761 in text)
Author(s) of theoryAndy Hochstetler, Heith Copes, Craig J.Forsyth
Major ideas behind theory.Masculinity plays a major role when men make the decision to fight in bars
Policy implications behind theory.Definition of masculinity among various cultures has made many people to believe that it is not just a matter of being a man, but it has to be proven in various ways. Policy makers should consider re-defining masculinity so that people would know that by not engaging in other activities that may prove harmful, one is considered masculine and should be accorded the benefits that come with the masculinity. Working class men should not be tied to their work places all the time. They should be given considerable period to be away from work and engage in other activities. Being tied to a work place leaves men with very few alternatives to express and test the masculinity.
Methodological considerations for theory. Interviews (face to face)  The article involved collection of data through semi-structured interviews with the white men from Louisiana. Men from this area have had long history of fights and therefore proved to be the most suitable informants in this study
Use of theory for studying ViolenceMasculinityFighting  Masculinity is not regarded as a status but is obtained by socially defined methods among different community settings. Many strive to achieve the tag of masculinity since their societies require them to show this aspect in order to be accepted as members of the male gender. Manhood comes with power and added benefits in a society and whenever external forces threaten these privileges, men would want to defend it, and if this happens in a bar, fights are bound to happen.


Name of theoryDifferential Association(n. p in text in text)
Author(s) of theoryEdwin Sutherland
Major ideas behind theory.Human beings learn skills, techniques, attitudes , values and even thoughts of committing crime by interacting with other people
Policy implications behind theory.The differential association theory states that criminal behaviors are learnt by interactions, which most of the time occur in forms of communications among humans. Those who commit crimes should be taught good behaviors by rehabilitating them through modified education and socialization processes. This is applied mostly in juvenile cases where offenders go through education while in police custody. Media houses and video games producers are therefore cautioned on production of contents that are likely to promote development of criminal behavior among viewers and users.
Methodological considerations for theory.     ExperimentInterviews (face to face)Existing scholarly data analysis.The study involved use of scholarly articles, observations, and experiments. The author observed offenders and how they responded to the corrective measures that were put in place to help them change their behaviors. Structured interviews were used to get more information about the concept and impacts of differential association. They shared also some concepts, by other authors, which gave support to their theory.
Use of theory for studying our four-exemplar assumptions. Criminal behavior is learntLearning is through interaction and communication      The theory suggests that human beings learn criminal behavior by interacting with other people. These people are usually close to the individual. This includes ways by which crimes are committed. When an individual is exposed to excess conditions that favor this learning then he starts engaging in criminal activities.


Name of theoryLabeling and social reaction theory([p.743 in text)
Author(s) of theoryBernstein,Ilene Nagel,William R.Kelly and Patricia A. Doyle
Major ideas behind theory.Juveniles hold different conception of their behaviors from that of the society or the community they live in. What is wrong to the community may not be perceived to be wrong by young people.
Policy implications behind theory.Policy implication of this theory is that communities should strive to provide good role models around the children and remove all sources of bad role modeling as fast as possible; early intervention measures by family members can help change the behavior of an individual. This is because people, in most cases, are attached to their families and would be well understood and given help in the best way possible. Offenders should be allowed to protect their image and should not be labeled as criminals even long after the alleged offence. The agents that are involved in the criminal justice system should not make excuses but instead should ensure that the principal of neutralization is applied all the time.
Methodological considerations for theory.   a. Observations   b.Interviews (face to face) C.Scholarly articles.  The study employed the use of observation in examining how different communities promote labeling. It also used written scholarly articles and borrowed some concepts, which are in line with the theory, from other theorists who shared the same believes with him.
Use of theory for studying our four terms.   a. Deviant b. Deviant behavior c. Labeling d. Social reaction  Negative labeling of individuals by members of a community may make them start engaging in criminal activities. Human beings are not deviant by nature but may be forced to be so when people around them label them as being so. When a person is labeled, he would probably starting showing characteristics of that social label given to him by the community The people around an individual will label the behaviors of the person as deviant but their definition of deviance may be very different from the labeled person’s understanding of being deviant.

Works Cited

Bernstein, Ilene Nagel, William R. Kelly, and Patricia A. Doyle. “Societal reaction to deviants: The case of criminal defendants.” American Sociological Review (1977): 743-755.

Bursik, Robert J. “Social disorganization and theories of crime and delinquency: Problems and prospects*.” Criminology 26.4 (1988): 519-552.

Copes, Heith, Andy Hochstetler, and Craig J. Forsyth. “Peaceful warriors: Codes for violence among adult male bar fighters.” Criminology 51.3 (2013): 761-794.

Sutherland, Edwin H. “Differential association.” (1947).