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LEFT REALISM (based on socialist ideas) - Left Realists argue that crime is rooted in social
inequality such as poverty, when these are reduced then so is crime. They pay more attention to
victims and public opinion unlike the New Criminology which pays little attention to victims.
Lea and Young- crimes occur due to relative deprivation media stress the importance of
consuming and aspiring to have middle-class lifestyles, when one cannot achieve this (due to
unemployment) they turn to crime. Subcultures also emerge when a group of people all feel
relatively deprived, subcultures help them cope as they are able to create their own lifestyle and
goals which they can achieve e.g. Rastafarians. L&Y also argue that marginalised individuals (young
unemployed members of an ethnic minority) are more prone to violence and criminal behaviour
because they have no clearly defined aims and see the future as unrewarding.
Kingsey et al. - police success lies in improving relationships with the community so that information
on crime which the police rely on increases. Stopping and searching suspects and having police on the
beat is ineffective and they need to spend more time on investigating. The clear up rate is extremely
low (8% in some areas) which suggests that police are unable to deter criminals as 90% of solved
crimes rely on public notification.
Young- identifies areas which are over-policed and under-policed. Police and the state concentrated
on minor drug offences and juvenile status crimes (underage drinking) whilst there is less focus on
crimes such as corporate crime or racially motivated attacks. Solutions to crime are not to improve
policing but to improve living standards for the poor, improve leisure facilities for the young and
reducing unemployment. Young said victim surveys 'allow us to give a voice to the experience of
people' and take their needs seriously. They reveal the extent of victimisation, the concerns of the
victims and provide information which we can base policies of crime prevention on.
The square of crime- combines structure and action. When examining crime, the following 4 aspects
should be considered and the interaction between them:
The state- agents of social control decide what is criminal (police and courts)
The offender- vital to consider why people offend and drift in and out of criminal behaviour
The public- Stigmatisation from peer groups, family and neighbours is one of the most powerful
determinants of behaviour. Media also shapes public perceptions of what is deviant which causes the
public to apply labels to certain acts. The
victim- it is important to consider what makes victims vulnerable in both a macro (e.g. their position in
society) and a micro (e.g. their relationship to the offender.
Hughs (1991) argues that Left Realism relies on subcultural theories, which have been criticised in
their turn and that street crimes cannot be explained within this theory
Jones (1998) argues that relative deprivation is not necessarily the cause of crime, as not all people
Ruggerio (1992) argues that white collar crime is impossible to explain within Left Realism
Postmodernists may argue that it is wholly impossible to improve a sense of community due to the
loss in social capital experienced in a fragmented society
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RIGHT REALISM (based on conservative ideas)- go against the view that poverty is the cause of
crime as many people in poverty do not commit crimes. RR focus on predatory street crime such as
burglary, theft, robbery and murder (because the police focus on these crimes the most). Crime is
due to biological differences, poor socialisation in the underclass and rational choice. Best way to
reduce crime is through control and punishment.
Wilson (1975) - crime is committed when the benefits outweigh the costs.…read more
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NEW RIGHT THEORY- concerned with the emergence of an underclass in society which are
responsible for a vast majority of crimes committed, this is due to their norms and values being
separate from mainstream society and their suffering of cultural deprivation.
Murray- welfare state is to blame for an underclass; unemployed men and single mothers rely on the
welfare state for all their income and may supplement this income through crime. Members of the
underclass reject mainstream values of society.…read more
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NEW CRIMINOLOGY- is a contemporary Marxist approach to crime and deviance developed by
Taylor. Based on the idea that criminologists should look at every aspect of crime in detail, including
the reasons behind criminal acts, the role played by the courts, police and mass media, and finally at
politics and capitalism itself.
Hall- `policing the crisis'- examined the moral panic that developed over the crime of mugging in the
1970's which blamed Afro-Caribbean men in particular and found that it was actually growing slowly.…read more