1a social theory edited

George Floyd and The Social Disorganization Theory
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Police brutality in the United States has been demonstrated by the recent incidents of George
Floyd. The emotionally charged case has re-ignited discussion about police brutality in the
USA. However, in the United States, compared to other races, police violence seems to be
focused more on African Americans (Barbot, 2020). As a result of this trend, police violence
is increasingly linked to African Americans as the intended victim population. The credibility
of the police will be undermined if there are high-profile examples of police brutality against
unarmed Americans. It is important to understand why African Americans are more likely to
be victims of police brutality to comprehend why certain police officers are more inclined to
use violence against particular groups of persons (Carbado& Rock, 2016). To show police
brutality and the science underlying it, this article will utilize the disadvantaged position of
African-Americans in the United States as a framework to substantiate the allegations stated.
Literature of Social Disorganization theory
“Shaw and McKay” established the social disorder theory in Chicago. Shaw and McKay’s
data collection using spatial maps revealed that “crime rates did not follow a regular pattern
across time and region.” Despite the city’s fluctuating population, crime tended to cluster in a
few key locations and, more crucially, remained stable within specified districts. When
previously “criminal-prone populations” were transferred to areas of the city with lower
crime rates, criminal activity decreased. Criminal activity remained independent of the race
or ethnicity of the people who lived in high-crime neighborhoods. According to Shaw and
McKay’s results, they postulated that local dynamics rather than individuals in the area were
the major source of crime.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the idea of social disorder became popular and powerful.
According to Bursik and Grasmick, “social psychology started to transition from group
dynamics to individual processes in the 1960s and 1970s as survey techniques evolved, and
social-psychological theories were more widely accepted (1992)”.In light of this shift from
macro criminological research and theory, many criminologists now consider the social
disorganization tradition to be either useless or at the very least unimportant, e.g., “Arnold
and Brungardt, 1983; Davidson, 1981; cf. Byrne and Sampson, 1986”.
People were interested in the concept of social disorder in the 1980s. Several scholars,
including Bursik, Sampson, Groves, and Wilson, have resurrected and reformed the social
disorganization tradition in part via their writings. In response, several theoretical critics have
been answered (Bursik, 1988). For years, researchers have studied social disarray’s
“reciprocal repercussions” and how others in neighboring communities may be affected by it
(Bursik, 1986),(Heitgerd and Bursik, 1987).
A framework of social disorganization theory
People in high-crime regions are seen by the police as easy targets because of the
social disorganization concept, which holds that crime is more prevalent in high-crime areas.
The idea analyzes the disease of geographical areas rather than the usual pathology of persons
when it comes to analyzing crime. While delinquency is not a random event that occurs in
any given city, it tends to occur in impoverished communities that are close to industrial or
commercial districts (Bellair, 2017). These destitute areas are, thus, always in flux, with high
rates of residential re-location. The majority of residents in these areas are recent African
American immigrants. People who live in crime-infested areas are unable to build vital social
bonds that are necessary for preventing crime.
Disorganization in society has an impact on family dynamics, which in turn
undermines the stability of families and societal systems. Social disorganization has a direct
impact on a number of critical institutions that are used to manage and regulate the conduct of
kids. Because of societal disorder, a crime-inducing atmosphere is created in the community.
Disorganization in society has a negative impact on neighborhood processes that serve as
informal social checkpoints. Peer pressure and the absence of local juvenile support networks
foster a culture of crime. People in the impacted region are much more likely than those in
neighboring communities with a functioning social structure to become involved in criminal
activity (Kubrin&Wo, 2016). Deviance is exacerbated by factors such as high mobility, poor
economic position, and ethnic heterogeneity in locations where social disorder is prevalent.
Due to a high crime rate in socially disordered communities that are dominated by
African Americans, police officers learn to generalize people from these regions. People from
these areas will be mistakenly labeled as criminals if the police see them on a regular basis
while on patrol in areas that suffer from the social disorder (Bellair, 2017). Neighbor Y’s
police will be on high alert because they predict a lot of criminality in the region, which may
lead to police brutality. Because of the social disorganization model, police may not be able
to explain why a specific region and a certain group of individuals are more prone to engage
in criminal activities. Focusing on only one individual as a suspected lawbreaker becomes
nearly instinctual at some point.
Case study findings
Floyd, 46, an African-American male, died in 2020 in Minnesota when Officer Derek
Chauvin stomped on his neck. His hands were shackled around his wrists, and he was resting
on his back. Bystanders who sought to interfere during the incident were thwarted by other
cops. Floyd had made it plain that he was fighting to breathe and that he was going to die if
he didn’t get some help. As a result of the video footage taken by passersby and shared on
social media, worldwide outrage and violent riots were generated (Barbot, 2020). Police
brutality is on the rise, and some of the most egregious examples of its cause may be:
Training of Police
Police training is a crucial factor in excessive use of force by officers. Patchwork and
unstandardized training for U.S. police officers exist. For example, officers from one
department may have a different training regimen than those from another. It’s impossible for
the police to change the way they do things if they don’t have a standardized curriculum that
emphasizes prejudice, racial profiling, and a knowledge of social disorganization theory and
crime labeling. Police officers should be taught how to safely hold suspects as well as how to
use force only when necessary (Antrobus, Thompson& Ariel, 2019). Lack of progressive
training means cops continue to perpetuate flawed and damaging training results, particularly
when dealing with African Americans.
There is also a military training regimen for U.S. police officers. It’s hard to believe
that leaders of these training approaches are open to change. To improve police training, one
must deal with hundreds of diverse training programs that are mostly unstandardized. Even
with goodwill. The training programs for police officers have very little control. Conflict
mediation, anti-bias, and techniques for remedying violence are not prioritized in the training
programs (Roussell, Henne, Glover& Willits, 2017). Anti-bias and de-escalation training for
police officers has gained traction in the wake of a shooting involving an African American.
There has to be a rethinking of the function of the police in society.
Lack of accountability and prosecution
In most police violence cases, officers may evade conviction. In order to defend their
conduct, police use the argument that few people are held accountable for their acts. The
system seems to incentivize police violence by not holding those officers accountable who
have been proven guilty of misbehavior. Excessive force may be justified in a variety of
situations, including those in which police personnel may be able to avoid punishment.
Similarly, police are obliged to conduct their own investigations, which presents a conflict of
interest (Schwartz, 2020). In general, the culture of police brutality is sustained because
officers are seldom held accountable and because they can often effectively explain their acts.
Issues of mental health
Abusing police tactics are more likely to be shown by officers who exhibit greater degrees of
PTSD symptoms. It’s possible that the police department’s PTSD programs aren’t broad or
effective enough to deal with the issue. Compared to the general population, officers are more
prone to suffer from an antisocial personality disorder. However, if they are not properly
handled, these characteristics may lead to officers participating in acts of police brutality that
would otherwise be avoided (Ellrich&Baier, 2017). Police brutality is mediated by personal
difficulties rather than universal mental disease.
Organization Factors
There is a strong correlation between high rates of police brutality and the fact that officers
have broad latitude in how they exercise that latitude. Police violence may be reduced by
more aggressive controls on when officers can use excessive force. Furthermore, police
departments seldom issue disciplinary measures for officers who use excessive force. There
is a strong correlation between a lack of control by police agencies and an increase in police
brutality on the part of officers (Gerber& Jackson, 2017). Excessive police violence is driven
by the differential association hypothesis, which states that officers consider the potential
consequences of employing excessive force and know that they will likely avoid punishment.
Racial Profiling
Race profiling is based on labeling and social disorganization theories, as previously
stated. As a result of social disorder, certain neighborhoods dominated by African Americans
may have a high crime rate. According to the notion of labeling, police officers make
assumptions about people from certain regions or races and then use that information to
support their own biases and discriminatory practices (Legewie, 2016). Any African
American is thus considered armed or likely to have violated the law by the police because of
their preconceptions. As a result of the stigmatization, there is increased hostility between
law enforcement and the targeted community, which in turn leads to a rise in police brutality.
Black men, in particular, are well aware that they are a prime target for police
violence. According to the police, African Americans have a greater tendency to break the
law than other ethnicities; hence they are more likely to be flagged down or searched. Due to
their frequent contact with police officers, African Americans have a heightened sense of
distrust against them. Male African American suspects, on the other hand, the police are on
high alert and will not hesitate to use fatal force on them (Wilson, Wilson & Thou, 2015).
According to social disorganization theory, this picture alludes to
It was discovered that compared to other industrialized countries, police in the United
States murder far more individuals (Ross, 2015). The conclusions and theoretical framework
presented in Ross’s research are supported by this claim. There is significant proof that
African Americans are more likely to be killed by police authorities than any other ethnic
group. When it comes to police brutality, there are no official statistics since there is no
significant accountability and monitoring. Only mainstream media news coverage of police
brutality is used to compile data. As a whole, the training and operations of police personnel
in the United States exhibit basic inadequacies that contribute to a rise in police brutality,
particularly against black Americans.
The racial divide between the police force and the African American populace is
growing as a result of police brutality against African American males. After incidents
involving African Americans by the police, African Americans made the fewest emergency
calls to the police (Ross, 2015). During times of protest and outrage over police brutality,
African-American neighborhoods tend to avoid reporting crimes, and this impact may last for
up to a year (Hughey, 2015). A cycle of racial violence is created when police brutality
against African Americans is related to social disorder in African American-dominated
As a result of studying the police vs. African Americans, we have gained a better
understanding of the science of police brutality. Not because they are racist, but rather
because of negative ideas about crime and violence that the police have toward African
Americans, officers kill African Americans. Rather than the racial makeup of people,
according to social disorganization theory, some communities are destined to have high crime
rates because of a breakdown in social regulations. As a result, there is a notion that AfricanAmericans are more likely to commit crimes in these areas. Because of this, the police
believe they have a legal basis for discriminating against and using violence against African
The social disorganization theory clearly explains police violence, especially against
African Americans. Police brutality against ethnic minorities is motivated in part by racism,
but it is frequently exacerbated by false accusations of criminal activity. Officers are more
prone to use excessive force if they are not subjected to rigorous training, oversight, and
arming. African American males are more likely than men of other races or genders to be
singled out by the police and abused as a result. Police personnel is able to evade punishment
even if they are engaged in fatal shootings. As a result of the need to better monitor and
control the use of force by police, police training must be revised and standardized.
Antrobus, E., Thompson, I., & Ariel, B. (2019). Procedural justice training for police recruits:
results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15(1),
Arnold, W.R. and T.M. Brungardt. (1983). Juvenile misconduct and delinquency. Boston:
Houghton and Mifflin.
Barbot, O. (2020). George Floyd and our collective moral injury.
Bellair, P. (2017). Social disorganization theory. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of
Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Bursik, R.J. (1988). Social disorganization and theories of crime and delinquency: Problems
and prospects. Criminology, 26, 519−551.
Bursik, R.J. and H.G. Grasmick. (1992). Longitudinal neighborhood profiles in delinquency:
The decomposition of change. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 8, 247−263.
Carbado, D. W., & Rock, P. (2016). What exposes African Americans to police violence.
Harv. CR-CLL Rev., 51, 159.
Ellrich, K., &Baier, D. (2017). Post-traumatic stress symptoms in police officers following
violent assaults: a study on general and policy-specific risk and protective factors.
Journal of interpersonal violence, 32(3), 331-356.
Gerber, M. M., & Jackson, J. (2017). Justifying violence: legitimacy, ideology and public
support for police use of force. Psychology, Crime & Law, 23(1), 79-95.
Heitgard, J.L. and R.J. Bursik. (1987). Extra community dynamics and the ecology of
delinquency. American Journal of Sociology, 92, 775−787.
Hughey, M. W. (2015). The five I’s of Five-O: Racial ideologies, institutions, interests,
identities, and interactions of police violence. Critical Sociology, 41(6), 857-871.
Kubrin, C. E., &Wo, J. C. (2016). Social disorganization theory’s greatest challenge: Linking
structural characteristics to crime in socially disorganized communities. The
handbook of criminological theory, 4, 121-136.
Roussell, A., Henne, K., Glover, K. S., & Willits, D. (2017).Impossibility of a “reverse
Racism” effect. Criminology & public policy, 18(1).
Ross, C. T. (2015). A multi-level Bayesian analysis of racial bias in police shootings at the
county-level in the United States, 2011–2014.PloS one, 10(11).
Sampson, R.J. (1986). Neighborhood family structure and the risk of personal victimization.
In R.J. Sampson and J.M Byrne (Eds.), The Social Ecology of Crime (pp. 25−46).
New York: Springer-Verlag.
Schwartz, S. A. (2020). Police brutality and racism in America. Explore (New York, NY).
Shaw, C. R., and H.D. McKay. (1942). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas; A study of
rates of delinquents in relation to differential characteristics of local communities in
American cities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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