OP-EDs position - Essay Example

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In the essay "OP-ED’s position" the author describes that he agrees with OP-ED’s position that the major factor that influences delinquency is poverty because social disorganization theory suggests that poverty is an important ecological characteristic that can decrease collective efficacy and informal social control…
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OP-EDs position
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Do you agree with the following OP-ED's position regarding the major factor influencing delinquency? Explain why or why not.
I agree with OP-ED’s position that the major factor that influences delinquency is poverty because social disorganization theory suggests that poverty is an important ecological characteristic that can decrease collective efficacy and informal social control. Social disorganization theory supports that communities with high poverty rates tend to have high crime rates because poverty decreases informal social control that is important to raising children who can stay away from crimes and finish college. Shelden shows the relationship between poverty and single-parent households where these households tend to have high delinquency rates because of low informal social control due to lack of good male role models (i.e. families without fathers) and poor supervision from single mothers who are both breadwinners and caregivers. Weak informal social control can produce low collective efficacy that reduces the ability of families to prevent the spread of criminological culture in their neighborhoods. Poverty can reinforce poor social cohesion which might affect the development and reinforcement of criminal behaviors.
Aside from social disorganization theory, conflict theory argues that capitalism breeds crime through perpetuating poverty among the lower-classes of society. This theory asserts that capitalism is an unjust economic system that produces poverty which creates crime. Shelden provides statistics that blacks suffer from poverty the most, and if many blacks conduct crime, their poverty can be one of the strong predictors of their crimes. Conflict theory argues that the poor might become criminals because they want to struggle against an oppressive system. Poverty can result to delinquency because colored youth from low-income families violate the norms and expectations of the upper class. I am not saying that poverty rationalizes criminality, but it can impact delinquency if it contributes to decreases in informal social control and collective efficacy and if the youth feel the oppression that comes from their class and race/ethnicity and want to fight their oppression through engaging in delinquency.
Work Cited
Shelden, Randall G. “OP-ED: To Reduce Youth Crime, Focus on Poverty.” Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. . Read More
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