The Chicago school which is also known as ecological school or the theory of social disorganization
The Chicago school which is also known as ecological school or the theory of social disorganization, Represent one of the earliest examples of balancing theorizing with scientific analysis and at the same time guiding important programs and policy implementations (Tibbets 2018). In the 19 century Chicago was one of the fastest growing cites in the U.S. The census data showed that the population went from 5,000 in the 1800s to 2 million in the 1900s and after that the population more than double every decade during the 19 century. (Tibbets 2018). In the mid-1800s no formal agencies like police officers, postal workers and social workers. And after the police agencies we introduced there were only finding lost children and collecting the garbage we know now that would later change. Due to the rapid population growth most of the people that was coming to Chicago was foreign and did not speak each other language which made impossible to for the citizens to organize to solve community problems (Tibbets). This type of chaos and normlessness Durkheim predicted when urbanization and industrialization occurred too rapidly. The most notable breakdown in social control was that children were in streets in gang and the adults and little attempt to try and stop it from happing in fact gangs controlled the street as much as any other group did back then.
The Chicago school primary work took a positive stance; however, sociologists were more focused on social positivism. This social positivism social structural theories by Robert Park, Ernest Burgers, Robert Merton, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay. Following world war two some sociologists at the school employed a different form of enquiry to the previous positivist approach.
In conclusion the Chicago school theories made important contributions to the study of criminology. The current structural theories changed our thinking from the idea that crime was caused by individual biological/genetic factors, to the idea that crime was a consequence of social factors. The Chicago school’s social structural theories propose that crime is a result of external social and cultural factors. Robert Park and Ernest Burgess ecological theory, made a contribution as it established how outside social factors can influence crime. Shaw and McKay made contributions to criminology by explaining how these external social factors had an impact on criminal behavior. Their social confuse theory demonstrates the link between external factors (social disorganization) and crime. Their disorganize theory demonstrates what happens if there is a breakdown of social control in society. They suggest that this breakdown leads to disorganization. However this theory does not explain the weight social control has on individuals. This was the focus of Merton’s strain theory; Merton was interested in the weight society put on individuals. Merton’s strain theory highlights effects the social forces have on determine crime. The Chicago School also contributed by adopting an interactionist’s form of inquiry as demonstrated in Edwin Sutherland’s differential association theory. This form of inquiry was inspired by the work of Simmel and is unique in comparison to the positivist tradition. The interactionist approach made significant contributions to the way we understand the underlying reasons behind criminal behavior. This perspective is not interested in finding the cause of crime but is aim. The Chicago school contributed by using ethnography, this allowed researchers to get in-depth detailed accounts of the social phenomena they were observing. Ethnographic methods are still used today as they are considered a vital way to gain detailed primary information. Every Chicago school theory has contributed to the way we study criminology some theories may be more relevant than others but all the theories have raised important issues (Tibbets 2018).