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Flashcards in Left Realism Deck (20)
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What are the similarities and differences between left and right realism?

- Similarities =

both see crime as a real problem.

- Differences =

their solutions of and views of the causes of crimes differ.


What are the similarities between left realists and Marxists?

- Similar =

both oppose the capitalist society and see it as the root cause of crime (poverty).

- Difference =

reformist not revolutionary sociologists. Gradual reforms are the only realistic way to achieve equality, and that we need realistic solutions to reducing crime.


How do left realists criticise other theories?

1). Marxists =

concentrate on crime of the powerful, but neglect w/c crime and it's effects.

2). Neo-Marxists =

romanticices w/c criminals, but in reality they mostly victimise other w/c people.

3). Interactionists =

see criminals as the victims of labelling, LR say this neglects the real victims.


What do LR say needs to be recognised in order to take crime seriously?

1). It's main victims are from disadvantaged groups =

w/c, BAME and women. They are also less likely to find police take crimes against them seriously.

2). There has been a real increase in crime =

led to an aetiological crisis.


What is the first aetiological crisis LR recognise?

During the 1950s, crime rates increased =

- this is because more people had labour saving technology in their homes.

- unlike interactionists who say this increase is just a social construct, they argue that it can't be explained in this way and it's real.


Which LR identified the 3 causes of crime?

Lea and Young (1984).


What are the 3 causes of crime?

1). Relative deprivation.

2). Subcultures.

3). Marginalisation.


What is relative deprivation?

- People feel materially deprived compared to other groups, consistent in all classes.

Excluded from society due to =

- expectations of what they think they're entitled to consume.

- combined with an advertisement-orientated society.

Leads to crime to feel more included.


Why are subcultures formed?

- People may join a religious (anti-crime) subculture to identify with people in the same situation, in order to cope with relative deprivation.

- Or, join a criminal subculture to commit crime and feel less relatively deprived.


What is marginalisation?

Refers to being 'pushed out' of society.

- employees have clear goals and organisations to represent their interests (better pay and trade unions).

- but, unemployed/young people don't so they get frustrated and commit crime.


What does late modernity argue, and who proposes it?

Young (2002) =

since the 1970s, the problem of w/c crime is worse.


Why is the problem of w/c crime got worse since the 1970s?

1). Harsher welfare policies.

2) Increased unemployment, job security and poverty.

3). Destabilisation of family and community life, weakening of informal social control.


What are the others changes in late modernity?

1). Crime is found everywhere =

not just at the bottom. There is resentment at the undeservedly high rewards (e.g. footballers).

2). 'Relative deprivation downwards' =

resentment of the unemployed ('spongers'); more hate crime.

3). Less shared values on right/wrong behaviour =

informal social controls are less effective as families and communities disintegrate.


What are the 2 LR solutions to crime?

Involves 2 policies:

1). Democratic policing.

2). Reducing social inequality.


What is democratic policing?

Instead of police using military policing due to lack of info;

- they need to gain public support by involving the community in policing policies and priorities.

- crime control must also involve a multi-agency approach (e.g. social services, housing departments and schools), not just the police.


How is reducing inequality a solution to crime?

Reducing social inequality by tackling discrimination, inequalities of opportunity and unfairness of rewards will reduce crime.


What do LR propose to reduce inequality?

- Providing decent jobs to tackle unemployment.

- Providing decent homes for the homeless and poverty.

- Changing the underlying structures will reduce crime.


Which crime prevention policy do LR adopt?

Social and community crime prevention.


What is social and community crime prevention?

- Improving the structure of society to prevent predisposing people to future crime (e.g. tackling poverty with employment).


What are the criticisms of LR?

1). Ignore the harm done to the poor by the powerful.

2). Over predicts the amount of w/c crimes; not everyone who experiences relative deprivation turns to crime.

3). Focusing on high-crime inner-city areas makes crime appear worse than it actually is.

4). They rely on quantitative data from victim surveys - doesn't paint the full picture.