Crime & Deviance- Right Realism

My notes on right realism- sourced from the text book

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  • Created on: 07-06-13 19:04
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Kayleigh NobleTopic 4- Right RealismA2- Sociology
Topic 4- Realist theories, Right Realism:
Right realists share the New Right and Neo-conservative political outlook. They
support policies in place to roll back the welfare state along with the strong
commitment to law enforcement. They take a `tough' outlook on crime, including
using prisons and also a `short, sharp and shocking' approach to dealing with youth
Right realists see crime as a real and growing problem that destroys communities,
undermines social cohesion and threatens society's work ethic.
This approach has been very influential in the UK, USA and elsewhere.
James Q Wilson, provided the justification for policies such as `zero tolerance of
street crime and disorder.
Their views closely match those of the conservative governments during the 70's and 80's,
for example arguing that `nothing works' although criminologists had produced many
theories of crime, no solutions had been created to put a stop to the rising crime rate.
Their views lead to a shift from looking for the causes of crime but instead looking for the
practical crime control measures. They then believed that the best way to reduce growing
crime rates was to control and punish offenders rather that rehabilitating them or tackling
the causes of crime.
Right realists criticise other theories for failing to offer solutions to crime and only
focussing on the causes of crime.
They regard labelling and critical criminology as too sympathetic to the criminal and
too critical of the law enforcement agents.
They are less concerned with the causes of crime and more interested in punishing
the criminals to offer a solution.
Although they mainly focus on solutions of crime they do offer an explanation for
the causes of crime.
The causes of crime according to Right Realists:
Reject the idea that crime is driven by an economic motive. They state- the old tend to be
poor however their crime rates are very low.
Crime is a product of 3 different factors according to right realists- Biological differences,
socialisation and the underclass and rational choice to offend.

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Kayleigh NobleTopic 4- Right RealismA2- Sociology
Biological Differences:
James Q. Wilson & Richard J. Herrnstein (1985).
Biosocial theory of criminal behaviour. In their view crime is caused by a combination
of biological and social factors.
Biological differences make some people inevitably more likely to commit crime than
others. Personality traits such as aggressiveness and extroversion, risk taking and low
impulse put people at a greater risk of offending.…read more

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Kayleigh NobleTopic 4- Right RealismA2- Sociology
Offenders are presumed to act rationally, therefore the presence of a guardian would
deter them from offending.
Informal guardians are more effective than formals ones such as the police. For
example patrols from the community to protect property deter looting and crime
rates.…read more


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