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There is a clear line that facilitates the understanding of the relationship between social disorganisation, place and crime in accordance to the Chicagoans. Collectively, it can be argued that the concerns sociologists' have included the idea of anomie. The lack of what is typical social or even ethical standards in an individual or group. This idea of anomie creates this reflection that displays the idea placed behind social disorganisation in the Chicago School of idea about crime and the idea of deviance. On the other hand, as the Chicagoans implicated the idea of anomie as a social ecological issue that is potential to take place anytime at anywhere, hence this would then create this sense of social re organisation. This essay will briefly identify and describe how high levels of crime is clustered in Sydney's south west, particularly Bankstown. The types of policies and practice that Chicagoans would recommend for addressing crime in Bankstown will also be critically evaluated.
It is essential to define or somewhat understand the concept of social disorganisation. This is a concept used in sociology to describe the absence or breakdown of certain form of relationships between people, and is closely bonded to the conceptions of those characteristics of relationships that are analytic of social or shared "organisation". Relations between people in a particular region are assumed to be mainly, "organised" when there are elevated levels of participation between different age groups. This creates and develops this element of community, which can be translated as geographically proximate to one another. The concept was created or further developed to reflect the absence of organisation between people in significantly small ecological components, such as neighborhoods and communities. This idea therefore is also used to give an explanation to different crime largely such as the country and state.
Social disorganisation and the concept set around it were used to better illustrate the explanation of crime. It is strongly seen in delinquency and similar issues involving criminal behaviour by the field of sociology at the University of Chicago dating back from the early 1900s. It was evident that as an increase in an industrial city, booming in population by immigration ranging from diverse racial and ethical backgrounds, the city of Chicago bestowed a social laboratory for the development of American criminology. Constant growth and alteration were then seen as "disorganised", which became a factor to a failure in the educating and taming of those before "social rules" which then had to inhibited crime and delinquency in the European peasant society, as Thomas and Znanieki (1918) argued.
To better illustrate this theory or idea, the Chicagoans created this theory in which it's called the "Concentric zone model". The Concentric ring model is better known as the Burgess model. It is a theoretical model that provides an explanation to the urban social structures. Sociologist Ernest Burgess created it in 1925 from the Chicago school. This model was based on the idea of human ecology theories, which was applied on Chicago, it was designed to give an explanation of the spreading of social groups within urban areas. The concentric ring model illustrates the urban land use in concentric rings, so the Central Business District (CBD), which is allocated central of the ring, and the city the rings began to expand, expanded including the diverse use of it.
According to the NSW Bureau of Crime statistics, Bankstown City has one of the highest criminal incidents, however it is declining steadily, which is in some types of crime such as motor vehicle robbery. In 2004, 1576 motor vehicles where stolen, however in 2008, 1246 were reported stolen. This decline means that over time, there has been development or alteration being done. Although the figures from the statistics may not always be right, because some crime is not reported, it is evident enough to argue it is quite steady. When observing the map that illustrates the "hotspots" of crime, we tend to see a trend of clustering, particularly near the railway station. If we apply Burgess' concentric model it is noticed that the clustering of criminal activity is not always in the centre on the CBD, it is widely spread out.
The sociologist of the university of Chicago later focused on the impact of what social change did. This includes the constant population growth, on what the society's capacity is in order to maintain and sustained rule-governed behaviour. The Chicagoans had the belief that the They believed that the forces of industrial capitalism disjointed and split the social unity, this encouraged the competitive individualism, given that the circumstances for social disorganisation that weakened a neighbourhood's ability to maintain effective social controls.
Their main concern was focused more closely to the city where there is cultural diversity and constant change. Therefore, a Chicagoan, Harvey Zorbaugh argued that the not having a common view and idea between the urban occupants, illustrating the city as a place in transaction. "Everywhere the old order is passing, but the new order has not yet arrived. Everything is loose and free, but everything is problematic" (Zorbaugh 1929, p viii, cited in Valier 2002, p 39). Zorbaugh considered the life at the city as being a characteristic that's impersonal social relations. Including the anonymity where there is substantial rates of mobility, this, therefore effects social solidarity and weakens it. He quotes, "A large part of the city's population lives much as do people in a great hotel, meeting but not knowing one another. The result is a dissolution of social solidarity and public opinion. Face-to-face and intimate relationships in local areas are replaced by casual, transitory, disinterested contacts. There arises an extreme individuation of personal behaviour that makes of the local area within the city something vastly different from the town or the village community. There is within it no common body of experience and tradition, no unanimity of interest, sentiments and attitude which can serve as a basis for collective action".
One of the main contributions of the Chicagoans was they developed this better understanding of qualitative ways for researching crime and deviance. The study often included interviews and participants observations, this allowed the perspective of the deviant to be applied and seen from a first person perspective, and rather accumulated ethnographic data on people of a homeless background, street gangs etc.
in particular by using participant observation and focused interviews. These techniques allowed them to enter the world of the deviant and compile ethnographic data on hobos and taxi- dancers, racketeers and street-gang members.
In areas like Bankstown, a growing population area, the Chicagoans are likely to recommend a few steps to help address crime in the Bankstown area. They would address firstly by targeting on neighbourhoods with heterogeneous ideas and strategies and method of involvement can be created based on the maxim change places, not people. Secondly, they would aim at the physical disorder and the spiral of decay, so this includes things like clean up rubbish, regenerate decrepitude buildings, places and spaces, and provide or make up and organise graffiti projects. The Chicagoans would also recommend Bankstown to target social disorder: improve social relations and enhance social capital, so develop solidity and trust, develop interactions and connections between diverse categories and or groups, develop consensus about norms, and improve stability. That can be achieved by reducing or resizing the residential mobility, along with schemes to help increase home ownership, this can be done through Neighbourhood watch, reporting any crime, or even confronting difficult and challenging deviant behaviour. According to Whyte's (1943), "Street corner society: Cornerville's problem is not lack of organisation but failure of its own social organisation to mesh with the structure of society around it" so it is kept away by their 'ethnic organisation' that included a rather complex & entrenched social organisation based on hierarchical & reciprocal relations associated and to crime.
In reverse, Valier (2002), gives a more critical understanding of the Chicago Area Project, he illustrates the policy propositions within the wider Chicagoan project. We can observe in Shaw, similar to the Chicagoans, clarified that delinquency areas in terms of 'natural' ecological laws, high delinquency areas were the result of elevated rates of spatial mobility, of processes of invasion such as the existence of business, or ethnic, that were the principal source of social disorganisation. This took for granted a meticulous trend of urban development below industrial capitalism instead of looking to address it at a structural level.
We have now developed a better understanding on how there is a relationship between social disorganisation, place and crime. This essay identified Bankstown as an example of a location with high rates of crime. With different theories and criticisms from other theorist, the Chicagoan theory would probably be best to apply it to Bankstown, because of the clusteration of crime in certain areas as population grows.