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With specific reference to the work of the Chicago school, discuss whether areas are prone to criminality because of their residents or are those areas naturally criminogenic?

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  • Essay length: 2488 words
  • Submitted: 20/06/2006
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University Degree Social Theory

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With specific reference to the work of the Chicago school, discuss whether areas are prone to criminality because of their residents or are those areas naturally criminogenic?

The work of the Chicago school during the period from the 1910's to the 1930's has become some of the most influential work surrounding area based criminology.

This paper will discuss the work of the Chicago school, and examine whether high crime areas are more prone to criminality due to their inhabitants, or are the areas themselves naturally criminogenic.

The Chicago sociologists focused particularly on the invasion by business interests of the innermost residential areas around the central business districts of cities. This created what they called the zone of transition. As the inner city became less attractive

to residents, those who could move out did so, leaving an area of decline occupied by the poor, and by marginal and deviant groups. As prominent member of the Chicago school, Robert Park stated:

"It is assumed that people living in natural areas of the same general type and subject to the same general conditions, will display, on the whole, the same characteristics"

Park (1952)

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