Ecological Theory and Beautification Essay

The ecological theory in criminology maintains that the physical environment where people are situated influences certain human behaviours. The theory has its scientific advantages and disadvantages when compared to the procedure of “beautification. ” which is the procedure of visually bettering a metropolis or town specifically one that is situated in an urban country.

For the most portion. the averments of the ecological theory are non significantly dependent on the dominant cultural group life in a peculiar country. thereby proposing that the findings of the theory do non depend on subjective human dealingss but instead on the physical environment where they are located. It has a scientific advantage in the sense that it avoids the jobs brought approximately by the comparative fortunes of precisely who are populating within the country. On the other manus. its disadvantage is that its findings—high offense rates with regard to societal disorganization—can fluctuate between being a cause or an consequence.

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In a sense. high offense rates can ensue to societal disorganisation and. likewise. societal disorganisation can take to high offense rates. Trusting on the physical environment in construing human behaviours is besides debatable because making so does non explicate why some people in such countries commit certain offenses while others in the same countries do non. Beautification. nevertheless. is a comparatively more stable theory than the ecological theory because. for illustration. urban beautification strategies through evictions are meant to turn to high offense rates and non the other manner around.

The ecological theory puts great accent on the fact of life within certain zones in an country as a primary ground for certain rates of offense. An earlier survey conducted by Shaw and McKay ( 2006 ) in 1942 suggests that the Zone 2 of an country contain more offense rates than any of the other zones chiefly because this zone does non hold a settled community to get down with which. in consequence. prevents the institutionalization of clear moral guidelines.

In consequence. the survey in peculiar and the theory in general indicate that. regardless of those who settled in any of these zones. the behaviour of the colonists every bit good as the rate of offense will hold to depend on the corresponding zones. This statement is peculiarly interesting because it leaves the reading of human behaviour on the physical environment alternatively on the people under survey. Harmonizing to Lowman ( 1986 ) . there is the inclination to do unfair choices in utilizing “criminological theory in developing geographic positions on crime” ( P.

81 ) . If that is the instance. ecological theory as applied to criminology faces the greatest disadvantage—the disadvantage of geting at biased consequences. Worse. the differentiation between the causes and the effects of condemnable activities may go bleary due to the inclination to non go nonsubjective. High offense rate can go a flexible factor. going a cause on one manus with societal disorganisation as its consequence and going an consequence on one manus with societal disorganisation as its cause on another.

In fact. a separate survey finds that there is no necessary connexion between societal category and offense and that more is yet to be understood in these two distinct constructs ( Tittle. 1983 ) . From the position of ecological theory. countries are divided into zones and these zones are occupied by more or less the same people in footings of societal category. hence societal stratification in the physical environment.

If there is no evident connexion between societal category and the types of offenses committed by people in any of the predominating societal categories. there remains the trouble of farther asseverating that there is an evident nexus between the physical environment and the rate of offenses in the different zones. Therefore. the chief disadvantage of utilizing ecological theory in construing human behaviour within the confines of certain zones is that it uses a rickety foundation. More specifically. the theory does non turn to the incompatibilities between those who commit certain offenses within a specific zone from those who do non perpetrate any offense at all.

The chief inquiry is: why do some people in Zone 2 commit larceny. for case. while some others do non? It appears that the physical environment does non keep a steadfast solution to the undertaking of explicating human behaviour. Nevertheless. another survey reaffirms the averment of the ecological theory. In a survey conducted by Tita. Cohen and Engberg ( 2005 ) . it was found out that little packs operate within choice countries particularly in urban slum locations. proposing that in some instances the ecological theory may keep true.

In order to turn to the job. it may be argued that urban beautification be taken into consideration such as pulverizing constructions in slum countries and replacing them with visually delighting constructions. The advantage of following this step is that it can literally take the physical environment where these little packs thrive. As a consequence. a part of the country is altered and cleansed. in a mode of speech production. which is a faster solution than the possible solutions that can be taken from the ecological theory.

A disadvantage of using the ecological theory in supplying a solution to the job of little packs is that it requires sufficient clip and house policies. For case. the ecological theory may propose that the income in these slum countries should be raised through specialised authorities plans and the jurisprudence enforcement be made more rigorous. While the solutions taken from the ecological theory are surely needed. they call for serious execution and consistent followup on their development. On the other manus. the disadvantage of following the beautification solution through eviction is that it raises ethical concerns.

It is a speedy hole that carries several moral effects. head of them human-centered grounds. Both the ecological theory and the procedure of beautification have their corresponding advantages and disadvantages. The challenge is non to happen which 1 is by and large better than the other but to find which 1 applies best to a peculiar case. Certain expostulations may be raised against either attacks. but they however remain important methods in understanding certain types of human behaviour such as condemnable activities.


Lowman. J. ( 1986 ) . Conceptual Issues in the Geography of Crime: Toward a Geography of Social Control. Annalss of the Association of American Geographers. 76 ( 1 ) . 81-94. Shaw. C. R. . & A ; McKay. H. D. ( 2006 ) . Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas: A Survey of Ratess of Delinquents in Relation to Differential Characteristics of Local Communities in American Cities. Oxfordshire: Taylor & A ; Francis. Tita. G. E. . Cohen. J. . & A ; Engberg. J. ( 2005 ) . An Ecological Survey of the Location of Gang “Set Space” . Social Problems. 52 ( 2 ) . 272-299. Tittle. C. R. ( 1983 ) . Social Class and Criminal Behavior: A Critique of the Theoretical Foundation. Social Forces. 62 ( 2 ) . 334-358.


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