Respond To Lynn Post

Respond To Lynn Post

The interactionist social disorganization theory provides a compelling framework for understanding the emergence of property and violent crime in high-crime areas characterized by a breakdown of conventional values (Adler et al., 2022). This theory posits that crime is not solely the result of individual pathology, but is also influenced by the social environment (Adler et al., 2022).

The key strength of this theory lies in its holistic approach to crime, its focus on the community’s role in crime, and its policy implications for the prevention of crime. Interactionist theory recognizes that crime is shaped by the social context, including neighborhood conditions, community dynamics, and interpersonal relationships (Little, 2016). It acknowledges the significance of breakdowns in community structure and values in crime causation (Little, 2016). For instance, historical evidence from Chicago in the 1920s indicates that later generations of immigrants experienced more significant challenges in retaining their cultural values, leading to increased social disorganization and crime rates (Adler et al., 2022).

Furthermore, the interactionist theory encourages a broader perspective on crime prevention, advocating for addressing the underlying social disorganization through community development and support programs in addition to punitive measures (President’s Task Force of 21st Century Policing, 2015). This approach acknowledges that not all individuals in socially disorganized areas engage in criminal activities, highlighting the importance of individual agency (Thompson, 2022). Critics argue that, while social factors are significant, the theory should also consider the role of personal choices and psychological factors in criminal behavior.

In line with the theory’s call for a shift in criminal justice practices, professionals are urged to focus on community-based interventions, such as intelligence-based policing, procedural justice, restorative justice, and community-based policing (President’s Task Force of 21st Century Policing, 2015). Understanding the dynamics within each community and avoiding a “one size fits all” approach is crucial for effective crime reduction strategies.

Interactionist social disorganization theory provides invaluable insights into the intricate relationship between crime, disintegrating values, and high-crime areas. Although it has several strengths, such as its holistic approach and policy implications, it is important to acknowledge and address criticism to achieve a well-balanced understanding. To effectively tackle crime using this theory, it is crucial to adopt preventive measures and prioritize community-focused approaches.


Adler, F., Mueller, G. O. W., & Laufer, W. S. (2022). Criminology (Tenth Edition). McGraw Hill.

Little, W. (2016). Chapter 7. Deviance, Crime, and SocialControl. https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology2ndedition/chapter/chapter-7-deviance-crime-and-social-control/

President’s Task Force of 21st Century Policing. (2015). Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Thompson, K. (2022, September 12). The Labelling Theory of Crime—ReviseSociology. https://revisesociology.com/2016/08/20/labelling-theory-crime-deviance/

For your two peer responses, respond to one peer who chose the same critical or interactionist theory and one peer who chose a different theory. (If no one chose the same theory you chose, respond to one that is similar to yours or in the same category.) In your responses, consider the following questions:

  • Is there something in their support of the theory they chose that you did not consider?
  • Which of their points make the most sense to you, even if you do not agree with the theory they chose?
  • What is another possible way their chosen theory might help criminal justice professionals reduce crime?