Ethnicity and crime

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 27-11-12 20:25


phenomenologist- study of police and juvenile officers in california and found they both held similar picture of the "typical deliquent" as coming from a broken home,bad attitudes towards authority,poor school performance,ethnic group,low income families. As a result people who fitted this picture were more likely to be arrested and handed over to juvenile officers

evaluation- cutural bias set in california may not be applicable

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Philips and Bowling

Argue since the 1970's the black community has been subjected to oppressive miltary policing which has resulted in over policing in black communites. which has lead to them feeling hostile towards authority which leads to crime as police labelling them as produce a self-fulfilling prohecy- they live up to their sterotype as potentially criminal

bowling -research into victim surveys found that when offender is unknown african carribean have 4 times higher arrest than whites.

evaluation- lea and young high no of ethnic crimes

                - outdated 

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Stuart hall

neo- marxist- 1970's there was a moral panic about mugging which was particular associated with black youths which therefore labelled them as folk devils. According to him britian was undergoing a crisis of capitalism at the time due to economic problems and social unrest which threatened the hegemony of ruling capitalist class however the moral panic benifited capitalism as the public were persuaded by media, police and politicians that societys problems were due to black working class. 

From this government were able to justify more aggressive policing

evaluation- critised for not making any effort to research the actual motavations and thinking of african carribeans that commit crime

- association between criminality and black youths made by police and media has continued over 25 years so cant simply be explained by capitalism crisis

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who was a serving police officer at the time found older more experienced officers used racist language as a matter of course in the presence of young officers. Proving that a Canteen culture with racist attitudes still exsists.

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McPherson report

in 1999 after the death of black teenager stephen lawrence a public inquiry was carried out by mcpherson. He concluded that the metropolian police were Institionally racist 

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myth of black criminality 

british asains and african carribeans orginate from britian, they struggle against british imperalism allowed these groups to learn how to resist exploitation. Demonstrations and riots represented resistance to a society that treated them unjustly. forming negetaive sterotypes

contempary- london riots

evaluation- doesnt explain why majority of black people are law-abiding citzens

              - lea and young ( left realists) attack gilroy for accusing no of black men convicted due to racism. as they beleive has been true increase in no of crimes commited by ethinic minorities. They beleive its a result of criminal subcultures formed due to relative deprivation and marginalisation

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Gordon and scraton

cultures of resistance


policing, media coverage and political debates all centre around the issue of race being a problem. minority ethnic groups have been on the receiving end of the discrimanation leaving them in a significally worse socioeconomic position than the white majority. In resistance to this cultures of resistance has emerged in which crime is a form of organised resistance so when young members of ethnic groups commit crime its a political act more than criminal.

evaulation- lea and young argue this is not the case as majority of crime is interacial (black on black)  and accuse writers of romanticising crime and criminals and thereby ignoring the affects that crime does to its victims 

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P.A.J waddington et al

watched cctv footage of police offenders and interviewed officers about their stop and search activities. They found that although a disproportionate number of ethnic minority youth were stopped, this was a realistic reflection of the type of people who were on the streets at night in high crime rates. In other words police stop and search policies are not shaped by racial prejudice and discrimination but the compostion of the local population.

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Ernest Cashmore

Functionalist view-

uses the ideas of merton as argues young african carribeans in britian are cutuarally encouraged like everybody else to pursue material success, but their structural opportunities are blocked by factors such as failing inner-city schools,unempolyment and racism. Young black britions experience anomie- they are aware that their situation arises from being black in a predominatly white society. They turn to street cime which merton describes as innovation and justify their criminal activities on the grounds that theyre rejecting white society because it has failed them.

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Roger hood

found that black men were 5% more likely that white men to be given an custodial sentence. They were also given sentences which were on average three months longer than those of whites who had commited equivalent offences 

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