Modeling the Use of Law

Modeling the Use of Law

Case Study-Black's Theory of Law and Homicide Clearance Rates: Modeling the Use of Law in the Context of Urban Areas

The author was trying to determine whether the use of police is successful in clearing homicide cases and the social and economic situations in urban areas.


  1. What main points were made in the study/research concerning social control?

 It is important that authorities understand the urban concept of crime and the social and economic aspects of individuals lives that are related to it. This has implications in the eventual control since clearance rates in urban crime are mainly a result of the measures put in place towards social control. This research was meant to determine the effectiveness of the police to clear crime by relating it with aspects of social control. Identifying how these efforts relate to the aspects of social control is of great importance in coming with interventions that are meant increase the impact that the police have in creating an effective formal social control. Black’s theory manly provided the framework for assessing how urban areas mobilize law in an effort to overcome conflict. Though this law has been adopted by the academia and criminal justice departments, it faces one major challenge; the law insists on macro-sociological management of the problem yet real-life investigations are carried out at the individual level. However, it is true that crime rates have social and economic links and though there may be no direct relationship between parties, this aggregation is important in understanding aggregation and coming up with aggregated responses.

  1. What did the author conclude about the problem or question as it relates to social control?

 The macro-level application of Black’s theory has a number of limitations which can only be solved through greater specification of propositions. It is clear that factors such as stratification, culture and alternative social control are less consistent within societies and this means that there may exist multiple dimensions of each factor of crime making some crime concepts inapplicable. Therefore, it is important that the police carry out independent investigations on each crime rather than base on classification according to communities, age or even races.