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Friday, November 27, 2009

Crime as the Major Problem of Social Disorganization

Friday, November 27, 2009 - 0 Comments

Meaning of Crime:
Crime refers to those acts which are forbidden by law. The following definition explains its concept:
(1) Elliot and Merrill: “Crime may be defined as anti-social behaviour which the group rejects and to which it attacks penalties.”
(2) K. Mauria: “A crime is an act opposed to established attitudes of a group, as defined by law at a given time or place.”
(3) Gillin and Gillin: “From the legal point of view, crime is an offence against the law of the land.”
(4) Sutherland: According to Sutherland, “Criminal behaviour is that behaviour which is in violation of the criminal law.”

The concept of crime and punishment has undergone great changes during the recent times. It is now regarded less an individual act of deviation from the established codes and more a symptoms of deep rooted social maladies. Why a person steals? The question now takes into account the social aspect of the problem, the social conditions which push a person on the way of crime. However, the basic concept of crime is remained unaltered. Deviation from the socially sanctioned codes or breaking of law is the basic characteristic of crime.
If crime is regarded as an index of social disorganization then we can very safely say, keeping in view the increasing crimes that modern society is crumbling. Gone are the days of daring highway robberies and breaking into banks the modern crime is organized on up-to-date business system. Criminals of today walk as respectable citizens, contribute to various charities, attend social functions and in most cases have hold upon the politics, at least local politics.
“Crime has had to be dealt with in all societies, past and present, but it became a major social problem only among civilized peoples. In primitive societies, the more and strong enough to control individual behaviour effectively, and the few who disobeyed the rules do not continue a threat to the group. In civilized societies, especially those with large, heterogeneous population, it is difficult to compel universal observance of the mores. Transgressions multiply, and it becomes necessary to enact law to compensate for the ineffectiveness of the mores.”

Concept of Disorganization and Causes of Social Disorganization

Meaning of Social Disorganization:
Some condition of order and system pervades all forms of physical, biological and social existence. The sociologists have at least accepted a starting point that some order and organisation exist in social life. The very essence of the group, culture pattern, and social personality implies an arrangement of parts into an integrated whole. But side by side social organisation and social order have their concomitants in social disorder.
Social organisation and social disorganisation are two relative terms, because neither there is any society totally organised not only disorganised. There is social disorganisation when the equilibrium of social factors is disrupted. As observed by Ogburn and Nimkoff, “Society is a going concern of an organisation. The organization consists of habits and institutions among which there is a fair degree of equilibrium. This equilibrium is often shaken by social changes. We begin therefore, by considering how the balance achieved in a stationary contract with the condition of changing society”.
Similarly, according to Elliott and Merrill, “Social disorganization occurs when there is a change in the equilibrium of forces, breakdown of social structure, so that former patterns no longer apply and the accepted forms of social control no longer function effectively. The dynamic nature of society involves a constant rearrangement of the constituent element.

Definition of Social Disorganization
(1) Mowerer: “Social disorganization is the process of by which the relationship between members of a group are broken”.
(2) Ogburn and Nimkoff: “Social disorganization imply some break in cultural contact, some disturbance in the equilibrium among the various aspects of the culture pattern”.
(3) Fairies:
(a) “Social disorganization refers to the disruption of the function of some social unit such as group, in institution or community”.
(b) “Social disorganization is a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relation”.
(4) Fairs Robert E. L: “Social disorganization is the disruption of the functional relations among persons to a degree that interferes with the performance of the accepted task of the group”.
(5) Ellict and Francis: “Social disorganization is the process by which the relationship between members of a group are broken or dissolved”.
(6) Josep B. Glittler: “When affairs deviate either from the existent order of from the desired order, the inference is that there is social disorder. It is the deviation that is referred to as social disorganization. It consists of the relative decline and breakdown of those factors that have made and do mark for the effective patterning of collective living”.

Social disorganization is not the negation of the harmonious relationship in a given society, it is indicative of serious breakdown of those relationships. Strike by factory workers or by sanitary workers results in the dislocation and paralysis of normal function of the society, besides it involves a direct conflict between the employer and the employee. Social disorganization is therefore a product of clash of interests of groups. Conflicts between the interests of individuals, if not organised as group conflict, have little bearing on social disorganization.

Social disorganization in the Modern Society

In our own times, the process of social disorganization has assumed in universal dimension. The developed as well as the underdeveloped societies, both are almost equal suffers. The society of the old world was comparatively peaceful partly due to stronghold of customs and traditions over the social conduct of man. Modernization of human society is mainly the result of industrials revolution of the consequent breakdown of old social relationships, first at the economic place and later on at cultural level. The man himself was swayed by the tides of industrial revolution which crushed the old order with ruthless velocity but the establishing some substitute values. Old society was not divided into sharp economical classes with mutually-conflicting interests.
In the old world order, societies cultures and communities were isolated from each other by distinct geographical barriers. Modern means of communication and transport have pushed the barriers of space and time into background. But the old attitudes and concepts die a hard way. Culture is regarded as he distinguishing feature of a community or people. Preferences are given to one’s own culture and others are looked down as inferior. The West has its own ways and East follows the suit. Culture is still regarded completely synonymous with group, community or class interest when in fact the speed of modern life and means of communication have accelerated greatly cultural diffusion. Culture by itself does not stand in clashing position in modern world but it is the class interests which push them into the forefront of conflict. When cultures clash, social disorganization affected by cultural conflicts work from within. Cultural clash has become more frequent with the increasing urbanization of country’s population.
According to Maclver and Page, “The situations we have just been describing, especially those in which the resistance is to an imported technology, serve also to illustrate the phenomenon of culture clash. We have used this expression to denote the conflict of opposing value scheme, creeds or ways of life when these are brought into contact inside the same community. The feat of an alien technology is not simply a fear that it will disturb the old values; it is also a fear that with it will be introduced alien values different goals. We do not include under culture clash the conflict of creeds and ideologies, so frequent in every modern society. We refer only to conflicts between two entire culture patterns each of which embraces a whole way of life. Such clashes arise permanently from the coming together within a single community of groups that have been bred in separation before they become thus conjured. Usually one of the cultures concerned is an imported culture while the other indigenous or at least has long been established in its present home. The two are brought rather abruptly into contact and out of those conditions one of them appears to be a threat to the very existence of the other especially if the former is associated with a dominant group.”
Cultural clashes cause social disorganization but this fact has also to be kept in mind that industrial civilization has disrupted the overall pattern of human culture. Old cultural patterns themselves have undergone the process of disorganization resulting further breakdown of those elements of solidarity in our society which were directly based on cultural patterns. Social disorganization is thus happening in every sphere of modern life, from all sides directly or indirectly. The outcome has yet to crystallize before any prediction may be made about the nature of the new social set up that is bound to replace in the old one.

Social Organization and its Essential Elements

Meaning of Social Organisation:
Social organisation indicates that state in which there is peaceful interaction between the different elements of the society. They work according to pre-fixed and recognised aims. In other words the existence of definite role and status is necessary for social organisation. Besides, there should be uniformity in the aims, goals and programmes among the members of the society.
In the words of another eminent scholar: “Social organisation itself is not something static, which one established, will forever remain without change. In one sense, social organisation is a hypothesis, and ideal construct emphasising the relatively unchanging aspect which are always present in every society.”
In social organisation, there is opportunity and harmony and adaptability with the physical environment. There is opportunity and facility for the fulfilment of collective aims without any obstructions.
Further, in social organisation, there is consensus on physical problems and equal interest in social values. The social structure on which the form of the society rests, function, properly. Social control is acceptable and applicable to all. There is sort of balance among diverse elements of society. A process of harmony and adaptability continues with the changing conditions of society. There is also harmony between the individual aims of the person and the collective aims of society. Social organisation makes social habits which develop as a result of collective experience as the medium of thinking and action and establishes harmonious between different institutions and committees. Social organisation depends upon the degree of harmonious relationship among institutions and committees and this direct relationship in dependent upon the structure of society.
Complete harmony with the physical environment is also only an imaginary conception. Consensus of all the members on a social subject, consensus of a collective subject and adoption of one method for the achievement of common points and one definition of all the main social institution are only the viewpoints based on conjecture. These states may take cooperatively more or less time. The given social hypothesis of social control, values and social structure appears to be impossible. All the social values cannot be viewed from one viewpoint. The age of today is individualistic whether the society lives in villages or industrial centres. Social control cannot be absolute in any society; it is not possible even in Communist countries. Social structure can never remain static in any condition. The Hindu society of today is completely different from the Hindu society of past.

Definition of social organisation: Social organisation is reverse an opposite condition of social disorganisation. For the understanding of social disorganisation, the knowledge of social organisation is a necessary as it is necessary to have the knowledge of the condition of the patient before trying to know the disease.

According to Elliot and Merrill: “Social organisation is a state of being, a condition in which the various institutions in a society are functioning in accordance with their recognised implied purpose”.

Similarly according to Ogburn and Nimkoff, “An organisation is an articulation of different parts which perform various functions, it is an active group device for getting something done”.

In social organisation, the harmonious processes of interaction go on. Collective definition is necessary for social aims and for their fulfilment a common programme is also necessary.

Relative Concept: Social organisation is somewhat a relative concept. There is no society which may be either completely organised or completely disorganised. Both these conditions are usually found in societies. The different is only of the degree. If any society is full of dissociative elements, then it will be called a disorganised society. A society which is full of associative elements, it will be called organised society. No society can be placed in completely a single category. Consensus and ability of behaviours and indicative of an absolute social organisation. But these are impossible in complex and dynamic society of today.
Social organisation and culture are mutually related to each other. The definition of social organisation depends upon its culture. In each society there are certain common behaviours and common habits and there are different types of common programmes to achieve them. In our society, they may be the cause of disorganisation while in another society, they may be the cause or organisation. The whole creation of human beings is called culture. As remarked by summer: Culture is the sum of total human creations”.
Culture includes those means which check the direct influence of natural environment. Those means can be classified into the following three categories:
(a) Artifacts or Tools
(b) Technique and
(c) Beliefs

Artifacts or tools are those things through which physical or material things whether they be animate or inanimate, can be made helpful for the benefits and use of man. For example, the motor car, on which man rides and depends for his safety.
Technique is the process through which man uses anything for his use, for example, the technique of driving motor car.
Beliefs are of many types. They may be social, moral, spiritual and scientific.
Institutions are main aids of man and the cultural symptoms which are beyond institutional set up, cannot become parts of the social organisation. It is possible that one means or thing may become part of different institutions. For example, a motor vehicle is necessary for hospital as well as commercial or other organisations. According to Mowerer: “Thus various Social Institutions in their inter relatedness constitute the pattern of social organisation”.
It is clear from the above statement of Mowerer that social organisation depends upon the organisations of institutions. Institutions can be regarded as the units of social organisation. Anything that obstructs the function of the institutions is the cause of disorganisation
.

Essential Elements of Social Organization
Following are the essential elements of social organizations:

(1) Social Control: According to B. J. Stren: “The social control which the group imposes upon its members imparts a certain consistency and stability to human activities”.

Social control becomes an obstruction in establishing adjustment with the changed society. Man has made folkways, laws and institutions for exercising or having control over social behaviour. Social control is regulated through folkways, mores, laws and institutions.
Folkways: Folkways are social habits which are transferred from one generation to other generation and their social importance constantly increases and slowly and gradually they assume the form of social control. Thus they receive common recognition whether they be in matters of foods, clothes etc.
Mores: Elliott and Merrill have placed these in that category of folkways with which is connected the welfare philosophy of the society. These have more social and moral sanction than the folkways and these are considered more beneficial for common welfare. It is necessary for all to accept these and they make a deep influence on each society.
Laws: Elliott and Merrill have called these are more clear Mores. Laws are those Mores which have behind them royal or State sanction and which force any one to obey them. The inclusion of Mores is necessary to make the laws effective. Laws become ineffective when they are against the Mores.

Institutions: According to summer, Institution is concept which has a structure. Institution are more effective than the other elements of society. Institutions are the representatives of those values which have become parts of society. They are definite and are for the fulfilment of some definite aims. Institutions are the men of social control and make the social balance or difficult due to their firmity or rigidity. Family, church or temple, school and State are the main institutions of society. Their importance for the society has already been proved and universally recognised.

(2) Consensus: According to Elliott and Merrill: “Social organisation is fundamentally a problem of consensus”.

Social consensus is necessary for society. According to Worth, there is no such society in which the members do not take part in social values and social aims and do not follow social rules.
According to De Tocquevill: “A society can exist only when a great number of men consider a great number of things in the same point of view, when they hold the same opinions upon many subjects and with the same thought and impression to their minds”.
Consensus arises automatically and is not forcibly established. Elliott and Merrill have remarked that without a fundamental consensus, physical structure of society is just like a hellow rod.
Regarding the importance of consensus, Park and Burgess have remarked, “Society is complex of organised habits and social attitudes, in short, consensus”.
There cannot be complete consensus on matters of social importance. But the consensus of the different parts of society is necessary. Social disorganisation being when common hopes and understanding of man suffer on decline.

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