Left Realist

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  • Left Realism
    • Believes that crime and the fear of crime are very real social problems that should be taken seriously.
    • Lea and Young
      • Relative deprivation
        • Crimes higher amongst working-class due to pressures in media to achieve economic success, leaving people feeling deprived in relation to others,
        • Relative deprivation can be felt in middle-classes as well - even the rich can feel deprived next to the super rich. Therefore, explaining white-collar crime.
      • Subcultures
        • Collectivist values of subcultures provide forms of relief from relative deprivation. This can be achieved through achieving status through alternate status hierarchy. Subcultures are a coping mechanism for blocked opportunities.
      • Marginalisation
        • Marginalised groups have minimal representation in society and express frustration through violent and aggressive means.
          • The role of the media, government and social institutions impact on the marginalisation of groups, leading to feeling 'left out' or 'left behind'.
    • Evaluation
      • +// Influential in forming policy and providing solution to crime. Suggests tackling cause of crime was better than punishing those who committed it.
      • -// Critics point to the decline in recorded crime in the era of global capitalism where relative deprivation is at its highest.
        • A counter criticism is that there is a dark figure of unreported crime.
          • Recorded crime can also be manipulated to meet ideological and political aims.
      • -// Hughes says left realists haven't explain why some people who experience relative deprivation see crime as a solution and others don't
    • Tackling crime
      • Community based approaches -involving the local community in combatting crime.
        • Young and Matthews found community based approaches e.g. better leisure facilities, reducing unemployment etc all reduced crime rate
      • Intervention
        • Identify groups at risk of committing crime and take action to limit their offending.
          • e.g. Perry pre-school project
            • 123 preschool children with risk factors of failing were randomly divided into 2 groups. 1 group entered a high-quality preschool programme and a comparison group which received no pre-school education.
              • It was found at age 40, participants who experienced the pre school programme had fewer teenage pregnancies, were more likely to have graduated from high school and had committed fewer crimes.


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