differences in crime- ethnicity, gender, age and class

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  • differences in crime
    • class
      • functionalism
        • the law is a reflection of society's values.
        • crime and deviance is the result of inadequate socialisation
        • modern societies with a complex division of labour has a diversity of values.
      • strain theory
        • people commit crime because they lack legitimate means to acheive socially encouraged goals.
      • labelling theory
        • reject offical statistics
        • focus on how and why people are labelled as criminals.
        • labelling theorists have been described as 'problem makers'- dont see offical statistics as valid social facts or a useful resource.
        • believe offical statistics are a topic whose construction we must investigate by studying the power of control agents to label working class people as criminal
      • subcultural theories
        • Mertons idea- the working class suffer from blocked oppurtunities to acheive success- so form delinquent subcultures
        • the delinquent subculture that they form- is a solution to status frustration
    • Gender
      • by the age of 40, 9% of females had a criminal conviction, against 32% of males.
      • a higher proportion of female than male offenders are convicted of property offences
      • a higher proportion of male than female offenders are convicted of violence or sexual offences
      • 4 out of 5 convicted offenders in england and wales are men
      • males are more likely than females to be repeat offenders, to have longer criminal careers and to commit more serious crimes.
    • Age
      • victimisation
        • due to the young having the most important oppurtunity to commit crime, they are also exposed to a greater risk of being a victim of crime.
        • Wilson 2006- young people are the most likely to be victims of crime with 27% of 10-25 year olds reporting that they have been victims of crimes such as theft and assault.
      • statistics
        • Roe and Ash- 2008 self-report study showed 22% of 10-25 year olds admitted to committing 1+ crimes in the past 12 months
        • roughly 1/2 of all convictions were offenders 21 and under (Offical Statistics)
      • differences in crime
        • deviance between younger generations is known as 'juvenile delinquency'
        • crime is more known about now due to the media and social networking
        • browne 2009- peak age for offending in england and wales is 15-18
        • the 'buzz' of deviant actions 'gratifies' young people and this often outweighs the risks of getting caught.
    • ethnicity
      • black youths are more likely to be arrested on the street and taken to court.
      • MacPherson report showed police were guilty of institutional racism in the killing of Stephen Lawrence.
      • Black and ethnic minorities are 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched.
      • according to Official crime statistics- most crime committed is by young and ethnic minority.
      • left realism
        • argue that ethnic differences reflect real differences in the level of offedning in different ethnic groups
        • Lea and Young- accept black crime for some offences is higher than for the white population
        • racism
          • discriminatory policing does not explain the differences in statistics as 90% of crimes reported are by members of the public
          • racism has lead to marginalisatio-n and economic exclusion of ethnic minorites.
          • they face higher levels of unemploymen-t, poverty and poor housing
        • caused by three factors-
          • marginalisatio-n- some thnic minority groups are pushed to the edge of mainstream society
          • relative deprivation, a sense of lacking things compared to others- not being able to possess consumer goods that other people have
          • subculture- both marginalisation and relative deprivation combine to develop subcultures in communities.
      • Neo-Marxism
        • black crime as resistance
          • Gilroy- crime by black people reflected political action in response to inequality and the oppression/repression from police racism and harassment
          • statistics do not reflect reality
          • black criminality is a myth created by negative sterotyping by the police and media.
        • black crime and scapegoating
          • Hall- argues there was no real increase in street robbery but this moral panic was used to justify more aggressive policing.
          • crisis in hegemony- from political and economic crisis mixed with a growing conflict between police and the african caribbean community
            • media created 'folk devil'- used as scapegoat
        • black crime is framed as political but often occurs against other black and poor people

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