In criminology, examining why people commit crime is very important in the ongoing debate of how crime should be handled and prevented. Many theories have emerged over the years, and they continue to be researched both individually and in combination. Criminologists are searching for the best solution in reducing different types of crime. They are several key theories that justify why people commit crime. Some of them are rational choice theory, strain theory, social learning theory and social disorganization theory. These theories are suggested to be the cause of digital crime.

The theory that I have chosen to discuss is social disorganization theory and the differential-association theory. Social disorganization theory is when a person’s physical and social environments are primarily responsible for the behavioral choices that a person makes. It is a criminological theory attributing variation in crime and delinquency over time and among territories to the absence or breakdown of communal institutions such as family, school, church or local government and communal relationships that traditionally encouraged cooperative relationships among people. For example, a neighbor that has fraying social structures is more likely to have high crime rates. This neighborhood may have poor schools in the area, vacant and vandalized buildings, high unemployment, and a mix of commercial and residential property.

The concept of social disorganization was applied to the explanation of crime, delinquency and other social problems by sociologists. Rapid growth and change were viewed as “disorganizing” or disintegrative” forces contributing to a breakdown in the teaching and learning of those prior “social rules” which had inhibited crime and delinquency in European peasant society (Sellin, 1938).