Grand Canyon University Socia

1) Explain Shaw and McKay’s theory of social disorganization. Describe some of the physical, behavioral and economic effects of life in deteriorating neighborhoods. Assess how effective this theory is in explaining crime. 

***Use the GCU Library for sources ( )

2) Write a 100-word response to each student in first person as if you were writing it to the students. Talk about how you agree with their ideas and add your own thoughts. Make sure it’s respectful.

Student 1) Social disorganization is a theory that Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay developed in 1942. Shaw and McKay researched certain areas in the city of Chicago from the 1900’S to 1933.  From their research came the conclusion that in certain neighborhoods which had high crime rates, the rates remained relatively high regardless of which racial or ethnic group happened to reside there in those certain areas. Once the people that lived in these certain areas moved out into a better social economic area, the crime rate lowered. This what lead Shaw and McKay to come to the conclusion that crime had nothing to do with certain races or backgrounds but with the certain way that a neighborhood was perceived. “Social disorganization theory suggest that a person’s residential location is more significant than the person’s characteristics when predicting criminal activity and the juveniles living in these areas acquire criminality by the cultures approval within the disadvantaged urban neighborhoods”. (Bond, 2015). Deteriorating these types of neighborhoods with his crimes, is one of the best ways to diminish crime in the area. The dynamics of certain neighborhoods is what leads them to crime. We have seen this theory over the years, with parents moving out of certain areas to give their children a better life. This theory is very effective in explaining crime. There are always those areas in a part of town where you cannot feel safe because of the crime dynamics of that area. Now, if all of those people living there were moved into different areas with different people; I believe that the crime rates would significantly go down. 


— Bond, M. (2015, March 1) Criminology: Social disorganization theory explained. Linkedin. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from

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