Like Marxists, Left Realists accept that structural inequalities and perceptions
of injustice are the major causes of crime.
Through victim surveys, they found that the sort of crime that worries people
most is street crime like mugging, violence, car crime and burglary.
These are mainly performed by young working-class males, both black and
The main victims of these offences are the poor, the deprived, the ethnic
minorities and the inner-city residents.
Left Realists recognise that most people don’t care much about white collar or
corporate crime, as it has little impact on their lives.
Lea & Young (1984) – Explaining crime
Lea & Young attempt to explain why people turn to crime using three key
- It is not deprivation as such that causes people to commit crime, but
whether they see themselves as deprived in comparison with others
- In modern societies, advertises stress the importance of economic
success and promote middle-class lifestyles
- L&Y argue that rising crime is partly the result of rising expectations of
high standards of living, combined with restricted opportunities to
- Working-class deviant subcultures emerge as group solutions to
problems arising from social inequality, though they take different forms