Left Realism

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Lea and Young (1984)

  • A respose to Right Realism 
  • In resoonse to neo-Marxists Radical Criminology which Young himself was part of and wanted to distance himself from, calling it 'Left Idealism'
  • See crime as a real problem for ordinary people 
  • Explains it through analysis of Social and Economic relationships and how some groups become marginalised 
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Crime is a Real Phenomenon

  • Rising crime rate cannot be solely explained by the unreliability of official crime statistics 
  • Less critical of offical crime statistics and argue they do refelct typical criminals 
  • the 'Typical Criminal' is young, male, working class, and disproportionatley black
  • Focus on victims as well as offenders 
  • Recognise crime is concentrated in the inner-city and sink housing estates 
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Ethnicity and Crime: Lea and Young

  • Black criminality: there has been a real increase in crimes commited but young blacks 
  • Accept thereis institutional racism and a canteen culture amongst the police 
  • Back criminality also stems from racial discrimination, material deprivation, low wages and unemployment 
  • Blakc youths have particularly high asperations, but often not able to legitimately achieve these asperations 
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Subcultures: Lea and Young

  • The subculture of young blacks is distinctly different form thier parents who largely accepted thier marginalised position in society 
  • Black youth culture has high material expectations and asperations: money and status symbol
  • Because Black youth is so closely enmeshed in values of consumption, style and wealth, this is why they commit crimes - blocked opportunities 
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Relative Deprivation: Lea and Young

  • Fraustrated from disparity between expectations and the reality of lifestyle leads to feelings of relative deprivation 
  • Argue the reality for many young Black males is a choice of unemployment, training schemes or 'white man's **** work'
  • They feel unfairly denied glittering prizes offered to others
  • This can develo into strategies which can involve deviant and criminal behaviour 
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Marginalisation: Lea and Young

  • Marginalisation means the process by which certain groups find themselves on the edge of society 
  • White and Black working class youth often feel alienated by schools, unemployment, low wages and the police 
  • Young Black males face marginalisation through prejudice and harassment - Militray policing of stop and search 
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The Policing Problem: Kinsey, Lea and Young (1984)

  • The police too often resort to Military Policing as a method of solving crime through stop and search policies 
  • Argue that to improve relationships the public should have more say in shaping police policy 
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Social Change and Crime: Jack Young

  • Late modernity is making crime worse 
  • Less consensus about moral values 
  • A breakdown of informal social controls 
  • Peoples desire for Immediate and personal pleasure 
  • Greater uncertainty and instability in most aspects of life 
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Critique

  • Key strengh is a recognition of multipule causes of crime 
  • Its focus on the victims as well as offenders is good, adding aother dimension to our understanding of crime 
  • Relative deprivation and marginalisation cannot explain the motive behind offenders actions 
  • Not all people in relative deprivation tunr to crime 
  • It assumes when society's values break down crime becomes more likely 
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