Almost everything in the world has an equal opposite. A person can be happy one day and the next day the same person can be sad. Being sad is the opposite of being happy; with that being said the same goes for things such as society or the communities in which people live. One day there may be order in a community and the next day there may not. When a community has order it can be considered social organization and when there is a lack of order it is considered social disorganization. The effects of social organization and disorganization on a community may not be noticed at first glance.
With a little research, a person will know if they live in a community with social organization or without it (National Criminal Justice Reference Service. 2003). The paragraphs to follow will explore the definition of social disorganization and how it relates to the evolution of organized crime. There will also be a discussion on how well social disorganization meets the criteria for organized crime and its various relationships. Lastly, this report will explore what the correlation is between corrupt political machines, and social disorganization is to the development of organized crime Social disorganization defined
As with any other term, social disorganization can be defined in a couple of ways. One way to define social disorganization is the process by which the relationships between members of a community or group are ineffective (Shah, S. 2013). Another way in which to define the term is as a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relations (Shah, S. 2013). From both of those definitions, a person can assume if a community does not function well, and it does not operate smoothly then it can be said to be socially disorganized. A city with a high crime rate and low numbers of high school graduates would be an example of a community that is socially disorganized.
Communities with low crime rates because of community policing can be said to have a worthy amount of social organization (National Criminal Justice Reference Service. 2003). Communities with good sense of social organization have a control over its members. There exists a functional balance between various elements of the social structure (Shah, S. 2013). With social disorganization, there is a destruction of consensus that can be caused by a number of issues such as new ideas and new institutions. One major concern that can cause destruction of consensus in a community is change. People are not always open to change (Shah, S. 2013). Social disorganization relation to organized crime
Since the definition of social disorganization has been explained, its relation to organized crime should be easier to understand. Areas that have social organization have order and function as a whole. Therefore the need for criminal behavior is smaller. The areas that have order tend to be areas in which people live comfortably (Shah, S. 2013). They may not be rich, but there is not drastic need for money. In areas where there is social disorganization, there is usually a need for criminal behavior. The need for criminal behavior or the drive for committing this type of behavior can come from living in poverty or less fortunate communities. When people live in less successful communities, getting necessities is hard. People need money to eat, and organized crime has become a way for low-income neighborhoods to ensure they keep eating.
At first people may not understand the need for organized crime because overall it is a negative thing. When a person lives in the reality of a low-income community, there is a better understanding. Organized crime groups have given men and women a way to provide for their families when they are not able to do it in a legal manner. As long as there is poverty there will be organized crime. Social disorganization and the criteria for organized crime
Social disorganization meets the criteria for an organized crime group for many reasons. In a community that has social disorganization, there is a tremendous chance that the crime rate is high. Organized crime groups commit crimes. Social disorganization lacks a foundation or guidance that is something some citizens can obtain through organized crime groups. When a person turns to an organized crime group for things that they should be able to get through their community, it only makes the crime group stronger. Organized crime groups strive off of areas that have social disorganization because people who feel weak are easier to control. Therefore not only does social disorganization meet the criteria for organized crime, it is the bread and butter of the organization as a whole. Correlation of corrupt political machines and social disorganization Political machines are people who double as local politicians. From 1830-1919, political machines were local business owners who also acted as politicians.
These people were able to use their customers as voters to gain more influence and power (Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. 2007). These political machines even went as far as making deals with local gangs in order to catch their vote. In exchange for their customers help, political machines would provide the voters jobs, houses and government assistance (Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. 2007). Providing voters with something in return for a vote is bribery. Bribery is not a legal action. Making deals with known gangs causes social disorganization. If the law or those in power are committing crimes, there is a terrible chance that the community will end up falling apart. Weak leadership causes frail followers. The relation between political machines and social disorganization is that political machines have the power to cause the disorganization or to end it.
In summary, social disorganization can be defined as a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relations (Shah, S. 2013). An example of social disorganization is a community in which none of its members get along and one that has high crime rates. When people do not get along and police themselves, crime can spin out of control. A neighborhood full of crime can be a melting pot for organized crime groups because criminal groups feed off of people who need them. The previous paragraphs explored the definition of social disorganization and how it relates to the evolution of organized crime. There was a discussion on how well social disorganization meets the criteria for organized crime and its various relationships. Lastly, this report explained what the correlation is between corrupt political machines, and social disorganization is to the development of organized crime
Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. (2007). Organized crime. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Shah, S. (2013). Social Disorganization: Meaning, Characteristics and Causes. Retrieved from http://www.sociologydiscussion.com/society/social-disorganization-meaning-characteristics-and-causes/2360 National Criminal Justice Reference Service. (2003). Social Disorganizationand Rural Communities. Community Correlates of Rural Youth Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/193591/page1.html