Assess Realist Explanations of Crime and Deviance.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By chloellen
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Realism occurred in the 70’s and 80’s in changing politics. The realist view is that crime is not just a social construction, but is a real problem that needs to be tackled. Realists believe that there has been a significant rise in the crime rate and favours a tough approach against it, as they think that other theories have failed to offer a solution to crime. The left realists Lea and Young attempt to give an explanation to street crime, committed by young people in urban areas. These sociologists took a victim survey which suggested that working-class and black people, especially elderly women, have a fear of street crime, as they are often victims of crime.
Their explanation of why crime is committed by revolves around three key concepts. Firstly, relative deprivation, which explains how one person feel sin relation to another, this leads into crime very easily as people can feel as if others are unfairly better off than they are, and this resentment can lead to crime. Lea and Young suggests that although in today’s society people are more affluent they are still aware of their relative deprivation because of the media and advertising, which increase everyone’s expectation on standards of living. This is linked to the idea of individualism, because this undermines the family and community values of mutual support, cooperation and selflessness, which results in anti-social behaviour. The second concept of why crime is committed is marginalisation. Left realists argue that people feel that they have no, or very little, power to change their situation. However the negative treatment that they get from the police and authorities could result in them feeling more resentment towards the mainstream society, which could lead to confrontation with authorities. The last concept as to why people commit crimes is subcultures. Relative deprivation and marginalisation…...

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