Right Realists

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See crime especially street crime, as a real and growing problem that undermines social cohesion and destroys social communities. They believe that people are naturally selfish, individualistic and greedy creatures. Right realists, therefore assume that people are naturally inclined towards criminal behaviour if it can further their interests and if there is little chance of being caught. There are three main aspects to right realist theories of crime; underclass theory, rational choice theory and control theories.

The underclass theorist, Murray suggests that both in the UK and the USA, a distinct lower class subculture exists which are below the working class which subscribes to deviant and criminal values rather than mainstream values and transmits the deficient culture to their children via socialisation. Marsland argues that the welfare state is responsible for the emergence of this underclass because welfare dependency has undermined people’s sense of commitment and obligation to support one another. People belonging to the underclass are allegedly work-shy, choosing not to work and allegedly prefer to live off state benefits. Murray sees the underclass as generally lacking in moral values, especially commitment to marriage and family life. A large percentage of the underclass children are brought up by single mothers who are allegedly often inadequate and irresponsible parents. Absent fathers mean that boys lack parental discipline and male role models, so young males may turn to other, often delinquent, role models on the street and gains status through crime rather than supporting their families by doing a steady job. These young males are also generally hostile towards the police and authority. As a result, right realists see this alleged underclass as the main cause of crime in recent years in inner city areas and


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