Chapter 6: Social Structure Theory

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stratified society
people grouped according to economic ot social class characterized by the unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige
social class
segment of the population whose members are at a relatively similar economiv level and who share attitudes, values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle
culture of poverty
a separate lower-class culture, characterized by aathy, cynicism, helplessness, and mistrust of social instituions such as schools, governement agencies, and the police, that is passed from one generation to another
the lowest social stratum in any country, whose members lack the education and skills needed to functino siccessfully in modern society
social sturcture theory
the view that disadvantageed economic class position is a promary cause of crime
social disorganization theory
branch of social structure theory that focuses on the breakdown in inner-city neghborhoods of instituitions such as the fmaily, school, and employment
strain theory
branch of social structure theory that sees crime as a function of the conflict netween people's goals and the means available to obtain them
the anger, frustration and resentment epereienced by people who believe they cannot achieve their goals through legitimate means
cultural deviance theory
branch of social structure theory that sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique loewr-class culture that conflicts with conventinoal social norms
a set of values, beliefs, and traditions unique to a particular social class or group within a larger society
cultural transmission
process whereby values, beliefs and traditions are handed down from one generation to the next
transitional neighborhood
an area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usualy from middle-class residential to lower-class mixed use
concentration effect
as working and middle class fmailies flee inner-city poverty-ridden areas, the most disadvantaged popluation is consolidated in urban ghettos
collective efficacy
social control extorted by cohesive communities and based on mutal trust, including intervention in the supervision of children and maintenance of public order
anomie theory
the view that anomie results when socially defined goals (such as wealth and power) are universally mandated but access to legitimate menas (such as education and job opportunities) is stratified by class and status
institutional anomie theory
the view that anomie pervades U.S. culture because the drive for material wealth dominates and undermines social and community values
American Dream
the goal of accumulating material goods and wealth through individual competitions; the process of being socialized to pursue material success and to believe it is achievable
relative deprivation
envy, mistrust, and agression resulting from perceptions of economic and soail inequality
relative strain theory (GST)
the view taht multiple sources of stain interact with an individual's emotional traits and responses to produce criminality
negative effective states
anger, frustration, and adverse emotions produced by a variety of sources of strain
local concerns
values, such as toughness and street smarts, that have evolved specifcally to fit conditions in lower-class environments
delinquent subculture
a value system adopted by lower-class youths that is directly opposed to that of the larger society
status frustration
a form of culture conflict expereinced by lower-class youths becasue social conditions prevent them from achieving success as defined by the larger society
middle-class measuring rods
the standards by which authority figures, such as teachers and employers, evaluate lower-class youngsters and often prejudge them negatively
reaction formation
irriational hostility evidenced by young deliquents, who adopt norms directly opposed to middle-class goals and standards that seem impossible to achieve
differential opportunity
the view that lower-class youths whose legitimate opportunities are limited, join gangs and pursue criminal careers as alternative means to achieve universal success goals