The Criminal Area: A Study in Social Ecology

By Terence Morris | Go to book overview

VI
SOME AREA STUDIES SINCE 1930

B ETWEEN 1929 and 1942, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay with the help of others extended the scope of "delinquency area" research to cover a wide variety of cities in the United States. In addition to these studies which have been the subject of discussion in an earlier chapter, a considerable number of other research workers turned their attention to the subject of crime and delinquency in the context of both rural and urban sociology. Much of their material in its published form is unobtainable outside the United States, though some of it adds very little to the body of ecological theory except in so far as more comparative material provides further verification of certain basic hypotheses.1 Our purpose here is to examine a few pieces of research which can be said to have made important contributions to the body of theory developed by Shaw from the teachings of Park and McKenzie at Chicago.

(a) Perhaps the first question to come to mind is whether Shaw's basic postulates, which by 1931 had been verified for several other cities besides Chicago, would be applicable to cities and urban areas outside the North American continent. An early attempt to answer the question was made by Andrew Lind of the University of Hawaii.2

Lind established that in Honolulu, the spatial distribution of delinquents' homes, dependency cases, arrests related to organised vice, and suicides, tended to follow the same spatial pattern as in the cities of North America. Honolulu, like many American

____________________
1
E.g., the association of such factors as delinquency, truancy, adult crime, dependence, etc., in specific localities.
2
Lind A. W., "Some Ecological Patterns of Community Disorganisation in Honolulu", Am. Journ. Soc., Vol. 36, 1930, pp. 206-220.

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