Left Realism

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 12-02-14 13:29

Key sociologist: Jock Young

  • Agree with Marxists that society is unfair and capitalist
  • However they are less revolutionary, and rather more reformist as they believe in gradual social change rather than a violent overthrow of capitalism
  • They believe we need to develop explanations of crime which will lead to practical strategies for reducing it

Lefts realists criticise other theories for not taking crime seriously...

Traditional marxists: Focus too much on coroporate crime and not enough attention on working class crime and its effects

Neo-Marxists: romanticise working class crime

Lebelling theorists: see working class criminals as victims of discriminatory labelling by social control. This approach neglects the real victims - working class people who suffer at the hands of criminals

The causes of crime

Relative deprivation - Lea and Young

  • How deprived someone feels in relation to others. This leads to crime when they feel resentment that others unfairly have more than them and resort to crime to obtain what they feel they deserve to have. 
  • The media and advertising assentuate this need for consumer goods 
  • Relative deprivation on its own does not necessarily lead to crime. The combination is relative deprivation and individualism. Individualism is the concern of the self and one's own individual rights rather than those of a group. This causes crime because it encourages the persuit of self interest at the expense of others


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