Ethnicity and crime

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  • Ethnicity and crime
    • Neo-Marxism: Black crime as resistance
      • Statistics do not reflect reality
      • Gilroy- crime by black people reflected political action in response to inequality and the oppression/repression from police racism and harassment
      • Black criminality is a myth created by negative stereotyping by the police and media
    • Neo-Marxism: Black crime and scapegoating
      • Hall- 1970s saw a moral panic over black 'muggers'
      • Crisis of hegemony from economic and political crisis mixed with a growing conflict between police and the African Caribbean community
        • media created 'folk devil', used as scapegoat
      • Hall argues there was no real increase in street robbery but this moral panic was used to justify more aggressive policing
    • Evaluation of neo-Marxism
      • 1970s crisis of hegemony no longer exists but there is still conflicts between minority ethnic groups and the police
      • Black crime is framed as political but often occurs against other black and poor people
      • Most crime is reported by the public
    • Left realism
      • Lea and Young accept black crime for some offences is higher than for the white population
      • They argue ethnic differences reflect real differences in the level of offending in different ethnic groups
      • This is caused by three factors
        • Marginality
          • Some ethnic minority groups are pushed to the edge of mainstream society by educational underachievement, lack of employment or legitimate opportunities
        • Relative deprivation
          • A sense of lacking things compared to others, not being able to possess consumer goods that others have
        • Subculture
          • Both marginalisation and relative deprivation combine to develop subcultures in communities. Provides support and aspirations
      • Racism
        • Racism has lead to marginalisation and economic exclusion of ethnic minorities
        • They face higher levels of unemployment, poverty and poor housing
        • Discriminatory policing does not explain the differences in statistics as 90% of crimes are reported by members of the public


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