Examining Theory Paper

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Examining Theory Paper Michael Kilgore CJS/314 August 11, 2014 Jennifer Duncan Examining Theory Paper Social structure theories are theories that describe criminal behavior in people. These theories have been in place for many years to help decipher the many things that paly a hand in the people committing crime. Social theories examine both the institutional arrangements within a social structure, social processes, and social life (Schmalleger, 2012). There are three main social theories, social disorganization theory, strain theory, and cultural conflict theory. These theories are different in determining factors that cause criminal behavior. The theories have played a role in different policies we have in place in the criminal justice system. I will explain the three theories of social structure before going into how they play a role in pelican bay state prison; war zone. Social disorganization theory which depicts social change, social conflict, and lack of social consensus as the root causes of crime and deviance (Schmalleger, 2012). This theory focuses on the lack of social control, gang activity, disadvantaged neighborhoods and the many conflicting social values as factors that cause people to commit crime. When people are living in a gang infested neighborhood with gang violence, it is tough for them to imagine getting out of that neighborhood. When people become accustomed to a situation, it becomes normal for them to think it is o to live where they are. There is little to no structure or organization in some of these deteriorated neighborhoods and some look forward to this activity in their lives. Conflicting social values contribute to the gangs and gang violence we see in society. Social strain theory is conflict between goals and means. This conflict has to do with unequal distribution of wealth and power, frustration, and choosing

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