:-Developed since the1980s
-Its key figure is former critical criminologist Young
-It has developed as a response to:
1. The need to take rising crime rates seriously and to produce practical solutions.
2. The influence of right realism on governement politics
-Left realists see society as unequal due to Capitalism (Like Marxists)
-They are reformists (want gradual change) rather than revolutionary socialists (want violent overthrow of capitalism)
.-This is how they want to bring about greater equality.
-We need to develop practical explanations of crime in order to find ways to reduce it now.Taking crime seriously:
-Crime particularly affects the disadvantaged groups.
-L.Rs accused other sociologists of not taking crime seriously
:1. Traditional Marxists:
-Concentrate on the crimes of the powerful (like corporate crime) rather than W.C crime and their effects.
2. Neo-Marxists:-Romanticise W.C criminals as commiting crime to show their resistance theire opression caused by Capitalism.
-However, W.C criminals often commit crime against others in the same or similar social class to them rather than the rich.
3. Labelling theorists:
-See W.C criminals as those who are the victims of discriminatory labelling and ignore their victims (Other W.C people)
-They take crime very seriously as there has been a real increase in crime since the 1950s. (Especially W.C crime)-Young: This has led to an "aetiological crisis," (A crisis for an explanation of crime that is accurate as all others have failed to explain and therefore prevent crime).
-L.Rs believe that this increase in crime is too great to be explained as a social construction (labelling theorists)
-More people are reporting crime because more people are actually falling victim to crime. -Taking crime seriously involves recognising who is more affecting by crime.
-Local victim surveys show that the scale of the problem of crime is actually greater than official statistics suggest.
- Also, that victims of crime are more likely to be disadvantaged
- For example: Unskilled workers are two times more likely to be burguled as others.
- Therefore, disadvantaged groups have greater fear of crime and it has a greater effect on their lives.
-They are also less likely to report it.
Lea and Young:The causes of crime:
1. Relative deprivation:
-Although crime has its routes in deprivation, it is not the soul cause of it.
-For example: There was extreme poverty in the 1930s (The great depression) but crime rates were low
.-On the other hand, in the 1950s crime rates had risen, even though the standard of living was greatly improved
.-The paradox of today's society being both prosperous and criminnal is due to the fact that the media raises expectations of material possessions so people feel relatively deprived
.-(This is built on Runciman's definition of R.D as: "How deprived someone feels in relation to others/compared with their own expectations).
-If they cannot afford them, they may resort to crime in stead.
-Young: Individualism leads to an increase in crime as it encourages the pursuit of self interest at the expense of others.