The Chicago School of Sociology

  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 03-04-15 10:09

The Chicago School of Sociology was set up in 1892 and has since been very important when considering criminological research. Most of the research conducted by this school focuses on the city it is based in and the changes that occured during this time. This school of thought is best known for using ethnographic methods of research including observation in order to understand people's lives.

One key theory to come out of this school of thought is the zonal hypothesis. This hypothesis established that in the city there were a number of concentric circles each with their own social and cultural life that characterised that area. BURGESS was the first sociologists to establish this map of the city. He argued that cities tend to grow outwards in a series of circles. He argued that the centre circle known as zone one was the business district, a zone full of business and propeties but very few residents lived there. Outside this zone was then zone two (the zone criminologists are most concerned with). This zone is often called the zone of transition. The population here is unstable as people come and go, residents in this one aare usually poor and have very poor housing. After the zone of transition there is then a further three zones of residence. It was argued that newcomers would start in the zone of transition and then move out once they had the money to do so. Zone three is the start of traditional residental housing and is usually the first place newcomers move after getting out of the…


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