Social structure theory is a theoretical framework that explains the various social structures and how they affect human behavior. According to this theory, the social structure includes various institutions, organizations, and relationships that make up a society. There are three branches of social structure theory on Quizlet that are important to understand in order to gain a deeper understanding of this concept.
The Three Branches of Social Structure Theory Quizlet
1. Social Disorganization Theory
Social disorganization theory is based on the idea that crime rates are higher in areas where there is social disorganization. This means that when a community lacks social cohesion, institutions such as schools and businesses break down, and there is a lack of collective efficacy- the ability of members of a community to come together to solve problems- it becomes more difficult for law enforcement officials to maintain law and order.
This theory suggests that these factors contribute to an environment where criminal activity thrives. The individuals living in these areas have fewer opportunities for education and employment leading them to engage in criminal activities as a means for survival.
Example: When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, many residents were displaced from their homes. As a result, social cohesion was disrupted leading to an increase in crime rates.
2. Strain Theory
Strain theory suggests that individuals engage in criminal activities when they are unable to achieve their goals through legitimate means such as education or employment leading them towards deviant behavior as an alternative option.
This theory states that society creates expectations or goals for individuals which may not be achievable by all members due to various factors such as poverty or discrimination. Those who are unable to achieve these goals through legitimate means experience strain which leads them towards deviant behavior such as theft or drug abuse.
Example: A person who comes from a low-income family may experience strain when they are unable to afford basic necessities such as food or shelter. This may lead them to engage in criminal activities such as theft to fulfill their basic needs.
3. Cultural Deviance Theory
Cultural deviance theory suggests that subcultures with values and beliefs that differ from the mainstream culture may lead individuals towards criminal behavior. These subcultures are often characterized by poverty, lack of education, and high crime rates.
This theory suggests that when people are socialized into these subcultures, they learn values and beliefs that may be incompatible with mainstream society leading them towards criminal activities.
Example: Gang culture is a subculture characterized by violence, drug use, and criminal activity. Individuals who are socialized into this culture are more likely to engage in criminal activities due to the values and beliefs they have learned.
Understanding the three branches of social structure theory Quizlet can help us gain a deeper understanding of how social structures affect human behavior. Social disorganization theory suggests that crime rates increase in areas where there is social disorganization, strain theory suggests that individuals engage in criminal activities when they are unable to achieve their goals through legitimate means, and cultural deviance theory suggests that subcultures with values and beliefs that differ from the mainstream culture may lead individuals towards criminal behavior. By understanding these theories we can work towards creating a society where everyone has equal opportunities for education and employment leading to a decrease in crime rates.