• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance (21 marks) Right realism sees crime, especially street crime, as a real and growing problem that destroys communities, undermines social cohesion and threatens society's work ethic. It has been one of the most influential neo-conservative views, especially in the US, and one of the key right realists is James Q. Wilson, an advisor to President Reagan in the 1980s. It can be argued that these views have also influenced British governments throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and possibly even today. It has also provided justification for widely adopted policies such as 'zero tolerance' policing. Right realists argue that it is pointless to try and eliminate the mythical 'root causes' of crime, such as poverty and educational underachievement. Instead, they believe focus should be on searching for practical crime control measures. This is achieved through taking a tough stance towards offenders and through control and punishment, rather than rehabilitating offenders or tackling underlying causes of crime. Right realists criticise other theories of crime for failing to offer any practical solutions to stop the rising crime rate. ...read more.

Middle

For right realists, the best agency of socialisation is the nuclear family. The right realist Charles Murray (1990) argues that the crime rate is increasing because of a growing underclass who fail to socialise their children properly. According to Murray this underclass is growing in both the US and UK as a result of welfare dependency. This has led to a decline of marriage and increase in lone parent families, as women can survive off benefits. However, Murray says lone mothers are inadequate socialisation agents, especially for boys (who hold biggest proportion of crime). Boys lack paternal discipline and appropriate male role models. As a result, young males turn to others in the same position for help and gain status through crime. However, this is rejected by Jane Mooney (1998) who claims 'there is not a single substantial scrap of evidence' that there is a link between single parenthood and crime. As the Item says, right realists advocate increasing the costs of crime and reducing the benefits. In other words they aim to make crime seem less attractive and their main focus is on control, containment and punishment for offenders. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the Marxist thinking on crime, which sees powerless groups such as the working class and ethnic minorities as criminalised, while society tends to ignore the crimes of the powerful. In conclusion, right realism is a valuable theory of crime and deviance. It offers a more practical approach to tackling crime than its mainly theoretical predecessors such as Marxism or labelling theory. It has shown that taking crime seriously is an important issue in reducing and preventing it, rather than just attempting to identify the underlying causes or wider structural explanations. However, as with many Neo-conservative approaches, too much focus is placed on 'controlling' the working class rather than trying to help them. While at the same time, doing little to target white collar crimes of the middle class. The ultimate test of a theory is its success in real life application. This has been the case for right realist theories since the 1980s and there is still much debate surrounding crime rates that have arguably been made worse, so it remains undecided whether right realism is the best way to approach crime and deviance in society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    As Durkheim argued, deviance is functional for the whole of society, not just those with a major stake in the economic system. Feminism Statistics show an overwhelming level of male crime in comparison to females. In this handout we will attempt to explain why.

  2. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    The good thing about this explanation is that it offers a social explanation for crime and for working class crime in particular and seems to explain utilitarian crime (money) and those of the lower classes who have a lack of legitimate opportunity.

  1. Critically compare the three main theories of deviance and assess their strengths & weaknesses

    In other words it ignores the wider issue of the distribution of power in society. Interactionists such as Plummer (1979) have strongly defended labelling theory against these criticisms. It is certainly true that the interactionist approach has had a significant influence on the sociology of deviance, particularly more recent approaches such as new left realism.

  2. Assess the usefulness of realist explanations of crime and deviance

    Where Wilson believes that that high crime rates are due to socialisation, Murray believes that it is all down to the welfare state. It is argued that the welfare stated has created a dependency culture where by people have become married to the welfare state.

  1. Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.

    The common factor among deviants, claims Lemert, is the process of labelling - the public reaction to the deviant leads to secondary deviance, the response of the deviant to public labelling. Lemert argues that secondary deviance should be the focus of study because of its effect on the individual.

  2. Positive Approach To Suicide

    He says that all coroner's share a common sense theory which helps them decide whether or not a death was a suicide. For example if the victim had a background of self harm, depression and was friendless that person would be considered to have committed suicide.

  1. Outline and Assess Sociological Approaches to Social Control Within Crime and Deviance

    Therefore, they argue that, agencies of social control work out just who is likely to pose the greatest risk of deviancy and act against them. They extend and advance Cohen's argument that other agencies, as well as the state, are responsible for social control and argue that there is a process, which they call privatization of social control agencies.

  2. The Strengths and Limitations of Left Realism and Right Realism Theories in Explaining Crime ...

    Young argues that certain areas of crime (e.g. juvenile status crimes such as underage drinking) are over-policed, whereas others (e.g. racial assault) are under-policed. The police need to 'get their priorities right' and address these under-policed areas. Jock Young sees the problem of crime rooted in social inequalities and does not believe that crime can be dealt with by simple improving the efficiency of the police.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work