Left realism view on crime and deviance

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  • Created by: Nicole
  • Created on: 17-04-11 21:54

 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 


Relative Deprivation:

  • 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 

achieve this


  • Working-class deviant subcultures emerge as group solutions to 

problems arising from social inequality, though they take different forms 


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