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In contrast to the economics of crime literature, which focuses on the deterrent effects of the formal criminal justice system, social disorganization theory considers factors that diminish the effectiveness of informal social controls. Shaw and McKay (1942) identified poverty, ethnic heterogeneity, and residential mobility as the three factors that weaken networks of social control and undermine the ability and willingness of communities to exercise informal control over their members. Sampson (1987) has added family stability to this list. For social disorganization theory, deprivation causes crime indirectly by being associated with poverty.
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