Flashcards in Ethnicity and Crime (2 - Explanations) Deck (28):
What are the two main theories for ethnic differences in the statistics?
- left realism
How do left realists Lea and Young feel about ethnic differences in statistics?
- they reflect real differences in levels of offending by different groups
What has led to the marginalisation and economic exclusion of minorities? How?
- face higher levels of unemployment, poverty and poor housing
How has relative deprivation been emphasised?
- media's emphasis on consumerism which promotes a sense of relative deprivation by setting materialistic goals that many minority groups are unable to reach by legitimate means
What is one response to relative deprivation? What does this produce?
- formation of delinquent subcultures, especially young, black, unemployed males
- higher rates of utilitarian crime as a means of coping with deprivation eg. theft/ robbery
Why might these groups also be liable to commit non-utilitarian crime?
- these groups are marginalised and have no organisation to represent their interests, their frustration is liable to result in violence/ rioting
How do left realists challenge police racism?
- while they accept that the police often act in racist ways and this results in some unjustified criminalisation of some members of minority groups
- discriminatory policing doesn't fully explain the statistics as 90% of the crimes are reported by the public so cannot solely be police racism
- thus, even if police are discriminatory, it cannot fully account
How do left realists believe the issue of selective racism can challenge police racism?
- black people have higher rates of criminalisation than Asians and so the police would have be selectively racist which is highly unlikely
How can police stereotyping be used to critique left realists?
- arrest rates for Asians may be lower not because they are less likely to commit crime but that the two groups are stereotyped in different ways - black people are dangerous whereas Asians are passive
What might explain the increased criminalisation of Asians?
- changed stereotype after 9/11
How do neo-Marxists view the OS?
- don't reflect reality
How does Gilroy view black criminality as a myth?
- these groups are no more criminal than any other but, as a result of police and CJS acting on racist stereotypes, ethnic minorities come to be criminalised and therefore appear in greater numbers on OS
In Gilroy's view, ethnic minority crime can be considered a form of political resistance against a racist society. How were these attitudes fostered?
- the anti-colonial struggle of their ancestors has been passed down and they have been taught how to resist oppression via riots and demonstrations
When black people adopted the same political struggle against the racism in Britain, what happened?
- their political struggle was criminalised by the British state
How do left realists criticise Gilroy?
- first generation immigrants were very law-abiding and popular in British society so unlikely that they passed down a tradition of anti-colonial struggle
- most crime is intra-ethnic so can't be viewed as an anti-colonial struggle
- Gilroy is romanticising street crime into something that it's not - just low-level criminals and petty theft
Why was mugging suddenly focused on in the 1970s?
- high inflation and rising unemployment provoking industrial unrest and strikes
- opposition to capitalism grew and the ruling class needed to use force to maintain control but the use of force is needed to be seen as legitimate or could result in more widespread resistance
- 'black mugger' served as scapegoat
What do Hall at al show about mugging?
- there was no increase in this crime at the time
Who did mugging become associated with? and how?
- media, police and politicians associated it with black youths
What did the moral panic of the black mugger succeed in doing?
- presenting the black mugger as a threat to the fabric of society and thus divided the working class on racial grounds and weaken opposition to capitalism
Hall et al do admit that police and media labelling was not the sole reason for black crime. What other reason was there?
- crisis of capitalism was increasingly marginalising black youths through unemployment and this drove some to lifestyle of hustling and petty crime
How do Downes and Rock criticise Hall et al?
- they're inconsistent in claiming that black street crime was not rising but it WAS rising due to unemployment
Do Hall et al show how the capitalist crisis led to a moral panic?
- no, nor do they provide evidence that the public were, in fact, panicking or blaming crime on black people
Do left realists believe inner-city residents' fears about mugging were realistic?
- yes, the moral panic was not a panic but was real and their reactions were justified
As a more recent theory, what do Fitzgerald et al consider to be a significant factor explaining the greater involvement of black youths in street robbery?
- neighbourhood factors
What did Fitzgerald et al find?
- rates of black street crime were highest in very poor areas where deprived young people came into contact with most affluent groups
- young black people were more likely to live in these areas and be poor
- BUT whites affected by these circumstances were also more likely to commit crime meaning it is a class thing
How could Fitzgerald et al be challenged?
- ethnic discrimination may still be the dominant factor as black people might be more likely to live in poor areas due to racial discrimination in housing/ job sectors
As a more recent theory, what do Sharpe and Budd comment?
- that some groups are at greater risk of getting caught eg. black more than white