Right realism

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Right realism:


-See crime as a real and growing problem.

-Crime destroys communities/undermines social solidarity/threatens the way that society functions.

-R.R has been very influential in the UK/USA.

-For example, it's main theorist Wilson, was special adviser on crime to President Ronald Reagan.

-It has provided the justification for widely adopted policies such as 'zero tolerance,' of crime and street disorder.

-R.R views correspond closely with those of neo-conservative governments in the 1970s and 1980s.

-For example: Policy-makers agued that nothing works as criminologists have produced many definitions of why people commit crime but no solutions to stop it.

-This lead to a shift in official thinking away from the search of the causes of crime and towards how to prevent it.

-R.Rs criticise other theories for failing to offer any practical solutions to the problem of rising crime.

-Theories such as labelling and critical criminology as too sympathetic to the criminal and too hostile to the forces of law and order.

-Although their main emphasis is on practical crime reduction strategies, they do in fact offer explanation of the causes of crime.

The causes of crime:

-R.Rs reject the idea put forward by Marxists that structural or economic factors (like poverty) cause crime.

-For example: Although the old/eldery tend to be really poor, their crimes rates are low.

1. Biological differences:

Wilson and Herrnstein:

-Put forward a biosocial theory of criminal behaviour.

-They believe that crime is caused by a combination of social and biological factors.

-Biological differences between individuals mean that people are more strongly predisposed to commit crimes than others.

-For example, personality traits such as aggressiveness, riskk taking and low impulse control put some people at greater risk of offending.

-Herrnstein and Murray: Being of low intelligence is the main cause of commiting crime, which they believe to be biologically determined.

Socialisation and the underclass:

-Whilst biology may increase the chance of an individual offending, effective socialisation decreases risk as it involves learning…


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