Social Construction of Crime- Realists Flashcards Preview

Crime and Deviance > Social Construction of Crime- Realists > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Construction of Crime- Realists Deck (10):

What do Right Realists believe?

Believe that crime is a real problem created by the poorer groups in society. Their increased criminal behaviour is a result of their socialisation and biology. We need to focus on stopping these individuals committing crime by being tough on the consequences.
Highly critical that Sociology has theorised but done little to tackle the real problems created by crime.


What do Left Realists believe?

Crime is a real problem created by social inequality in society- it is the job of Sociologists to look at how we can adjust society to tackle crime so that the working classes are not living in fear of victimisation. Focus on the poorer groups as victims.
Share the view with Right Realists that crime should be looked at as a real problem, but arguing that many working class people live in constant fear of crime due to their increased risk of victimisation.



Rational Choice Theory. Right.
Crime is a rational calculation committed by individuals. They weigh up the benefits and drawbacks and Sociologists should therefore focus on controlling crime, not casting it off as social construction.


Wilson and Hernstein

Biological Factors. Right
Crime is a product of biological factors so it is part of a natural process and should not be seen as a social construction. Bio-social theory (combo of Bio and Social factors. E.g link between testosterone and aggression can be Scientifically proven.



Inadequate Socialisation. Right
Underclass are genuine criminals of society because they threaten the nuclear family (2 parents and kids). Single parents on welfare more likely to bring up children with criminal behaviour. Single mothers lead to young males growing up without role model, inadequate socialisation results in criminal behaviour.


Lea and Young

Relative Deprivation
Crime is a reaction to relative deprivation, feeling others unfairly have more than us can make us resentful. This can lead to crime as people may believe they are taking what they are entitled to. This feeling of resentment is more important than the actual poverty which causes it.


Clarke Evaluation

His theory is shown to be relevant as the fine for texting and driving is about to be increased as it is believed that this will prevent this from happening- it will make the consequences of committing the crime more serious and the advantages less appealing.
But not relevant to all crimes, as some crimes are spontaneous and in the moment, with no real benefit to the individual, for example murder as a result of rage- or Manslaughter, which is a crime but unintentional.


Wilson and Hernstein Evaluation

The link between testosterone and aggression has been scientifically proven, suggesting that some individuals do commit crimes as a result of biological factors.
At the same time, this cannot be applied to every criminal act for example non-Violent crimes such as drinking underage.


Murray Evaluation

Murray's theory is often regarded as sexist and racist- as he ignores the ability of black women to adequately socialise their children. His theory also has little proof.


Lea and Young Evaluation

Statistics show that 2/3 prisoners were on welfare state benefits in the 6 months leading up to prison, proving that Lea and Young's theory is relevant today and their theory is useful in explaining the reason behind this- and leads to a solution.
However, not all criminals are working class, and this theory is not useful in explaining White Collar Crime, for example.