Urban Crime: A Geographer’s Perspective

According to Brittanica crime is the intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under criminal law.

The crimes in rural and urban areas are of different genre. Different Theories of Urban Systems Explain the relationship.

One can see it as social problem arising out of Social Processes.

Concentric Zone Theory and Urban Crime

Ernest Burgess of the University of Chicago, sought to explain clear divisions of socioeconomic status within and immediately outside of cities.  The disparities from one city block to the next were extremely apparent and Burgess created a tool that has proven to be extremely helpful to future crime study.  Working with the city of Chicago, Burgess examined and identified  city zones, each with its own particular attributes.  Though Ernest’s original publication from 1928 on concentric circles very blatantly divided these zones by concentration of African Americans within the inner zones (Burgess, 1928), the general make-up of these areas today is predominantly comprised of minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status. 

SocialDisorganization Theory and Urban Crime

The social disorganization theory is a theory developed by the Chicago School, related to ecological theories. The theory directly links crime rates to neighbourhood ecological characteristics; a core principle of social disorganization theory that states location matters. In other words, a person’s residential location is a substantial factor shaping the likelihood that that person will become involved in illegal activities. The theory suggests that, among determinants of a person’s later illegal activity, residential location is as significant as or more significant than the person’s individual characteristics (e.g., age, gender, or race). For example, the theory suggests that youths from disadvantaged neighbourhoods participate in a subculture which approves of delinquency, and that these youths thus acquire criminality in this social and cultural setting

Social Inequality

Social Inequality may also be a trigger of crime.

Social inequality results from a society organised on hierarchies of classrace, and gender that unequally distributes access to resources and rights.

It can be expressed in a variety of ways, like income and wealth inequality, unequal access to education and cultural resources, and differential treatment by the police and judicial system, among others. Social inequality goes hand in hand with social stratification.

It can be expressed in a variety of ways, like income and wealth inequality, unequal access to education and cultural resources, and differential treatment by the police and judicial system, among others. Social inequality goes hand in hand with social stratification.

Social Exclusion

Social Exclusion may also be a trigger. It sometimes lead to frustration and frustration may lead to violence and crime.

Poverty

It can be a result as well as magnet of social exclusion. Its manifestations can be seen in Slums.

The process of social exclusion is dragging away certain people or group of people to drag away from the core of the society.There are different magnets of social exclusion which drag people  away from the core of the society to the fringes of society.

  • Poverty Magnet
  • Ill health Magnet
  • Discrimination magnet

Links to Read Further

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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