Right Realism

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  • Created on: 30-04-15 15:52
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Rational choice theory
· There is a choice when considering whether or not to commit a crime. Cost/benefit.
· Therefore society need to increase the cost of crime and raise the benefits of conformity.
Tackling Crime - Wilson and Kelling (1982)
They argue that crime and social disorder are closely linked.
Ignoring anti-social behaviour can result in the breakdown of a community.
James Q Wilson argues that unless `incivilities' (litter, graffiti, noise levels, vandalism, etc.)
are kept minimal, then wider anti-social behaviour and more serious crimes will follow.
The role of the police is to prevent this by clamping down on the first signs of petty crime
and disorderly behaviour.
HOWEVER
A.H. Bottoms' concept of the `tipping' of problem housing estates.
Since the police have limited resources, they must prioritise areas where it is still
possible to regenerate communities.
Inner city areas must be dealt with using punitive measures ­ long prison sentences
­ `to deal with wicked people' (Wilson 1975).
Prison population in the USA has tripled since the 1970s.
Right realism has been criticised for:
Accepting the picture of crime presented by official statistics.
No explanation for violent crime.
Ignores corporate crime.
Rejecting the view that (wider structures) economic factors and social inequality can
generate crime.
Focusing on young males and street crime and largely ignoring other types of
offenders and crime. Zero tolerance ­ discrimination.
Placing too much emphasis on control which some see as a threat to civil liberties.
Crime still on the rise in USA.
Lack of investment in difficult neighbourhoods

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