How Culture Affects Crime – Sociology Essay
First of all what is culture? Culture in my opinion is a set of moral codes or unspoken norms that color the general landscape of society or community life, and by a dictionary definition it is the “the attitudes and
values which inform a society” We can start to understand or analyze what affect culture has on crime by examining the evidence compiled by the Chicago school of sociology.
This study by the Chicago school of sociology involved “a programme of participant observation” after which they stated that “street gangs provided the main community for young offenders” this could be because a street gang possibly provides attainable goals or a moral handy-cap which young males can identify with (opposed to normal 9 to 5 living which to them seems a world away). The strength in this claim is that they had an inside look at how a gang perceives the community they live in and how their definition of crime is changed. Although this evidence does appear to be irrefutable, were the accounts of crime glamorized by the gang members in order to gain credibility or to appear completely subversive to all normal social behavior?
In order to gain a whole picture you must also examine the economic situation of the youths in question. In trying to gauge this The Chicago School of Sociology Researchers collected quantitative data in regards to how and where young offenders lived. Most of the data pointed towards young males living in areas of disrepair with low rents, high unemployment rates and a high turnover of the population, all of this combined with a lack of policing and, no apparent, governmental intervention (poor amenities and public services) created a hotbed for gangs and sub-cultures to emerge (these areas are badged “zones of transition”). This also begs the question are all young males living in so called “zones of transition” destined to end up in a street gang?.