Social disorganization theory shows the outcome once a society is incapable of conforming to common standards and to resolve the issues of its people. According to Shaw and McKay, criminals are not just irrational people. They are not “irrational” comparative to their surroundings. They are to a certain extent rational: reacting naturally, normally, and sensibly to an unusual and unstable social settings. The main source of criminality is the lack of a particular area or region, to either form or allow a set of common principles that would incorporate the whole community. Areas that cannot express common standards are the areas of diversity in languages, customs, cultures, and are needy. As a consequence, if a neighborhood is not self-policing and properly regulated by the external organizations, a number of people will put into effect limitless liberty to convey it.
Common surroundings and moral principles are crucial in controlling offenses that are basic, such as ethnic and cultural. Nevertheless, once a neighborhood goes through the basic underlying fundamentals of crime, there is no way back. The area becomes contaminated with a flawed way of life that produces imperfect offspring. They are flawed in that they react reasonably to an unreasonable culture, which itself, makes them unreasonable.
The main conclusion of Shaw and McKay is supported on the thought of a social natural balance. According to them, criminality is found around a specific area, in spite of who may live there at any point. Once it grows to be part of the way of life of the area, it develops into a custom that gets passed down from one generation to another. Hence, it is the place, not the inhabitants, which matters.