Left realism

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  • Left Realism
    • Explaining crime
      • Accept that structural inequalities, social conditions and perceptions of injustice are major causes of crime
      • Lea and Young have 3 key concepts
        • Relative deprivation
          • Unemployment and poverty do not cause crime. It is poor people's awareness of the inequality in relation to others and their desire to do something about it through discontent and resentment that causes crime
        • Marginalization
          • When a group are socially, economically and politically 'on the edge' of mainstream society, it creates a feeling of powerlessness
        • Subculture
          • Subcultures emerge as group solutions to relative deprivation and marginalisation
          • Different forms over time and context. They act as motivators for crime
    • Late Modernity and Bulimic society
      • Young argues that late modern societies are media saturated and everyone is included in the consumer culture through constant exposure
      • This raises everyone's expectations of the good life. This cultural inclusion is coupled with social and economic exclusion from those at the bottom of the class structure
      • This creates a bulimic society- people gorge themselves on media images and expensive consumer lifestyles, but are forced to vomit out their raised expectations
      • Young argues that this is intensified by 3 key features of late modernity:
        • Growing individualisation
          • Self seeking, individual freedom and self centredness, less concern for the welfare of others
        • The weakening of informal controls
          • Breakdown of traditional social structures. No longer able to provide support and informal controls on behaviour
        • Growing economic inequality and economic change
          • Globalisation= increasing gap between the rich and the poor
    • The Policing problem
      • The police too often resort o 'military policing' as a method of solving crime through stop and search policies
      • This leads to alienation. They argue that to improve this relationship the public should have more say in shaping police policy
    • Jock Young
      • Believes the state devote too much time to minor drug offences and juvenile crime
      • Believes that police do not devote enough time to racially motivated attacks, corporate crime and domestic crime
      • Crime can only really be tackled by addressing inequality
    • Critique
      • Recognises multiple causes of crime
      • Focuses on victims as well as offenders
      • Not all people in relative deprivation turn to crime


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