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Assess the Sociological explanations of social class differences

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Introduction

Assess the Sociological explanations of social class differences In crime rates. According to the crime rate in England and Wales, the most committed crime amongst male and females was; theft and handling of stolen goods. These crimes, and similar to most crimes are mostly committed by the working-class; nevertheless this is not to say that other social class do not commit crimes. Explanation for crime and deviance in society has been attempted to be explained by many sociologists, for example labelling theory, subculture theory and also left/right realist. However they focus on working-class crimes, and fail to provide an explanation for middle-class. High crime rates amongst working class people may be down to the targeting of working class people, as explained by internationalist. According to intereactionist acts labelled as deviant tend to be committed by certain types of people. For example, police tend to target specific groups, of whom were mostly likely working-class. This is due to the perception held by the police of the 'typical criminal', they are more likely to see the activities of young men from the lower levels of the class structure and from certain ethnic minority groups as suspicious. ...read more.

Middle

The lack of a male role model or even the presence of a negative role model causes crime as discussed by Cloward and Ohlin. They argued that different social environment provide different opportunities for crime and deviance, which encouraged the development of different delinquent subcultures. Young men who were presented with negative role models, who taught them a life of crime, were known as Criminal subcultures. These men were given the opportunity to climb the professional criminal hierarchy, to become 'successful' by participating in crime which brings monetary gain. Another sociologist explaining crime in terms of the subcultural theory, Miller, argued that there is a distinctive lower-class subculture which is passed of from generation to generation. Which arose from the experience of low-skilled labour that involved boring, repetitive and dead-end jobs? Lower-class subculture provides ways of living with this situation of finding satisfaction outside of work, often by breaking the law. Concern with toughness lead to fights, and concerns with excitement resulted in joy-riding or robbery. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is the combination of individualism and relative deprivation that lead to crime. Individualism refers to a focus on and concern with the self, to a demand for individual freedom and autonomy. It is the result of the breakdown of close-knit communities and the break-up of families. Both, street crimes and white-collar crimes are dealt with differently. Street crimes are dealt by the police with harsh punishment, to stop the crime being committed again. More money is spent on tackling street crime, ways such as tougher surveillance. On the other hand, white collar crime is not dealt by the criminal justice system; they are dealt with by regulatory bodies. Who are more likely to issue 'official warnings' to make things right rather than pursue prosecutions. Regulatory bodies advise and warn rather than punish. Even when white-collar crimes are prosecuted and found guilty of a criminal offence; their punishment tends to be lenient, such as community service, a fine, or a short sentence in an open prison. ...read more.

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