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Flashcards in Left realism Deck (31)
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who are the key left realists?

Lea and young


what did Lea and Young conduct and what did they find?

- victim survey of inner city london (islington)
- w/c, blacks and elderly women fear street crime as they reported often being victims


how are Left realists similar to marxists?

see society as unequal and capitalist


how are left realists different from marxists?

- LR are reformists
- believe in gradual social change
- believe we need to develop explanations of crime based on real experience
- this will lead to practical strategies


why are lea and young critical of labelling theory?

- LT: w/c are just discriminated against by agents of social control
- LR: yes but lea and young's survey found w/c and in some areas young African Caribbeans commit the most crime


why do left realists criticize traditional marxists?

- believe TM overemphasis crimes of the powerful
- lea and young agree white collar is under reported but its not damaging p's everyday lives like e.g muggings


how are left realists critical of neo marxists?

- NM romanticises w/c criminals as modern day criminals
- LR says the wealthy are rarely victims of crime, it is mainly the poor that suffer at the hands of w/c


what do left realists say about marxists and labelling theories saying crime is socially constructed?

Lea and Young:
- the increase is too great to be explained
- increase is very real
- more p's are victim and reporting
- british crime surveys support this


what are the left realist explanations for crime?

- relative deprivation
- marginalisation
- subcultures


how does relative deprivation explain crime?

- p's resent what other have
- media and advertising make p's more aware of it
- consumerism raises p's expectations of material possessions
- those who can't afford steal it


what is relative deprivation?

how deprived someone feels in relation to others or their own expectations


how does Lea and Young describe the differences in relative deprivation?

- w/c more relatively deprived than m/c
- afro carribean compare themselves to white youth in regard to life opportunities
these groups feel more relatively deprived


how does relative deprivation not necessarily lead to crime?

- only when combined with individualism does it cause crime
- pursuit of self interest at the expense of others


what is individualism?

a concern w/ the self and one's own individual rights rather than those of the group


how do left realists argue individualism is on the rise?

- media emphasises materialistic goods
- individualism disintegrates families and communities
- it undermines selflessness
- this creates a spiral of anti social behaviour


how does marginalisation cause crime?

- marginalisation = frustration/ anger
- negative treatment from police = hostility and resentment towards mainstream society
- this can cause confrontation w/ authority


how do subcultures cause crime?

- join subcultures to cope w/ frustration
- relative deprivation and marginalisation block opportunities and cause status frustration
- deviant subculture responses are a form of innovation (funct)
- p's react by committing crime


what are the left realist solutions to crime?

- policing
- deal w/ inequalities in wealth and income


how is the style of policing a problem?

- police tactics often alienate p's e.g w/c
- policing is too reliant on military style policing e,g over excessive stop and search of black
- police more interested in minor drug offences than racist attacks
- led communities to stop working w/ police


how is improving policing a solution to crime?

Lea and young:
- crime can be reduced w/ community help
- police and community need to work together
- police need to re gain communities trust so p's feel comfortable providing info


what do left realists say about inequalities in wealth and income?

- main cause of crime is unequal organisation of society
- inequality of opportunities and unfairness of rewards = frustration, hostility, envy


how do left realists believe dealing with inequalities in wealth and income will reduce crime?

Lea and young:
- provides p's w/ opportunities
- we should improve housing and provide decent jobs for all
- we should tackle stereotypes
- we should improve council estates


what are the 3 influences left realists had on labour government (1997 - 2010)

1. labour insisted police be tougher w/ those crimes that affect vulnerable e.g hate crime/ domestic violence

2. antisocial behavior orders to protect p's from low level social disorder

3. new deal for unemployed youth to reverse exclusion of those most at risk of offending


why were left realists critical of the labour government?

- they failed to tackle inequalities in income, wealth and job opportunities
- they didn't prevent main cause of crime^


what are the strengths of left realism?

- highlight reality of street crime
- highlight effect of crime on victims


how do left realist highlight reality of street crime?

- highlight brutality of street crimes in inner city
- unlike Neo/ traditional marxists it doesn't romanticise criminals


how do left realists highlight the effect of crime on victims?

- clearly shown most victims are members of deprived groups
- majority of theories ignore this


what are the weaknesses of left realism?

- no empirical evidence
- doesn't explain
- doesn't focus on all crime


how is there no empirical evidence for some aspects of left realism?

- no evidence blacks / w/c criminals interpret reality as describe by lea and young
- e.g marginalisation or relative deprivation


what does left realism not explain?

why the majority of w/c and african caribbean youth do not turn to crime