Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology


The following pages are a discussion of one of sociology’s questionable terms, social disorganization. The term is questionable because it has not been accepted by all sociologists, because its nature is not actually clear, and because it has been investigated only briefly. First, definitions of social disorganization are discussed and any convergence, noted. A differentiation is made between personal and social disorganization. The various causes of social disorganization are then discussed followed by evidence of social disorganization in each of society's major groups.

The result of social disorganization is social problems. The relationship between these two sociological terms is discussed. Several sources are cited which state that disorganization of society produces social problems. The development of the term in three stages is noted. Each stage is distinguished by certain characteristics. Social disorganization is related to organization and reorganization. It is this relationship which is the target of further research in the field of social disorganization. All societies suffer some disorganization. What is this disorganization? Where does it come from? What is the result of social disorganization? It is these questions that this paper is designed to answer.

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