Last Minute Sociology Notes


New Criminology is a new Marxist approach to crime and deviance, it aims to look at every aspect of a crime. It led to Hall's Policing the Crisis. This examines moral panics which developed in the 1970s sensationalist newspapers claimed that there was an increase in mugging amongst afro-carribean men. Hall's research showed this was untrue and he developed it futher showing that the claims were a response to a capitalism crisis of economy and hegemony.  The British public was losing faith in the government and the moral panic came at the right time as the could scapegoat the afro-carribean young men. It also divided the working class on ethnic lines and caused the police to increasingly label the young men thus the media reported it and deviancy amplification occured. Hall and others see crime statistics as social constructs, those afro-carribean men who turn to crime did so due to unemployment or out of frustration.

Gilroy explores the myth of black criminality and argues that afro-carribean men are no more criminal than Whites but they are labelled by the police and courts. This is always seen as a political act, fighting back againt the history of racism and colonialism. The high unemployment rates of the 1980s led to a surplus population and the government found it convenient to focus on the myth of black crime.

Contradictions are evident in both of their research, on one hand they say black crime is a myth but on the other they say it was bound to rise due to unemployment.

New Left Realism, Lea and Young, accuse the above of having idealistic views of criminals as 'political revolutionaries'. They take a more realistic approach to crime:

  • it is a serious problem and is getting worse
  • victims are often ignored
  • street crime especially is growing
  • urban areas are increasingly dangerous
  • official stats are broadly correct
  • there is an ethnic dimension

Police don't actively label black men or wander…


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