C&D - Theory and Methods - Locality and Crime

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  • Higher in urban areas compared with rural areas and higher in inner cities and on council estates compared with suburban areas.
  • The BCS and police recorded crime show that:
  • (1) Rural areas have lower rates of all types of crime than cities or towns.
  • (2) People in rural areas worry less about crime.
  • (3) People who live in inner city area and/or council estates in towns and cities perceive their areas as having high levels of anti-social behaviour.

Ecological theory - Shaw and McKay

  • They looked at the relationship between criminality and the urban environment.
  • Explain why crime rates were so high in inner cities.
  • (a) Zones of transition and social disorganisation:
  • Distinch neighbourhoods or zones with their own set of values and lifestyles.
  • 'Zone two' - inner city = 'zone of transition'.
  • This is characterised by cheap rented housing, high numbers of immigrants and high crime rates.
  • 'Relative' crime rates in the inner city were similar over a number of years.
  • Constant movement of people in and out of the area - population turnover - prevented the formation of stable communities and sense of social control.
  • It produced a state of 'social disorganisation' ie. there was little sense of community - people unlikely to feel a sense of duty and obligation to eachother.
  • (b) Cultural transmission
  • Areas of social disorganisation, a subculture of crime and delinquency develops to which children living in such communities are exposed.
  • Young males learn criminal skills and traditions.
  • (c) Differential association:
  • Sutherland - people's behvaiour is conditioned or shaped by reference to the behaviour of…


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