Left Realist Theories

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  • Left Realist Theories.
    • Jack Young and John Lea.
      • said the root causes of black street crime are;
        • relative deprivation
          • people may feel deprived in comparison to others but aren't in extreme poverty. these people are likely to turn to crime in order to achieve material goods what the media stresses are necessities.
            • link to Merton's strain theory
        • marginalization
          • young black males have no groups (pressure groups or trade unions) to stand up for them, this means they are pushed out onto the edge of society, this growing frustration can lead to crime
        • subcultures
          • gangs or groups with their own hierarchal structures, people in these gangs are likely to have been marginalized from society and created structures which they are willing to conform by.
    • look at the root causes of crime such as poverty
    • statistics on crime are broadly correct, there is an ethnic dimension to crime
      • critic of Gilroy
    • solutions to crime
      • policing and control needs to be improved.
      • lea and young argue that crime can never be eliminated but it can be reduced.
      • the police need to regain the trust of the communities
      • communities need to provide places whete children and teenagers feel comfortable and included, this may reduce the feelings of being marginilized
      • police have used racial profiling to identify criminals and this has led to accusations of institutional racism
    • deeper structural causes of crime
      • the cause of crime is the deeply unequal nature of the capitalist society
      • improvements need to be made in opportunities to achieve decent standard of live, such as better CCTV and better policing standards in all areas
    • evaluation of left realism
      • focuses on the victims of crime
      • a balanced theory, it doesn't diminish or glorify the police
      • describes real problems around street crime
      • there is little new about it, it is a mixture of strain theory and subcultural studies
      • too much emphasis on street crime, what about corporate and white collar crime
      • no reference to women in crime


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