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New Right Realism & New Left Realism. The realist approach to crime treats crime as a real problem.

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Introduction

New Right Realism & New Left Realism The realist approach to crime treats crime as a real problem. This involves finding practical solutions to help repair problems within the criminal justice system and to find solutions to why a certain crime is being committed in the first place, by looking at problematic sources in our society. Interactionists and Marxists would say that crime and deviance is socially constructed, whereas realists see crime as "real" and believe they are more concerned with solving the problem of crime than other critical theories. Both left and right realist approaches were developed as a result of a large increase in crime and public disorders in the 1980's to try and address the problem. Both approaches are critical of non realist approaches, for sympathising and romanticising the criminal, ignoring damage victims have faced and failing to produce practical solutions to crime. New left realism stems from Marxism and Interactionism; Agreeing with Marxism that society is exploitative and unequal. Despite this, it criticises both approaches to crime as they tend to sympathise with the criminals and ignores the damaged caused to the victims of crime. New left realists also accept that the official criminal statistics are biased yet they still argue that members of ethnic minority groups and working class youths are more likely to indulge in criminal activity because they have more reason to do so, such as youths who experience extreme levels of material deprivation. Left realists accuse Marxists of romanticising the criminal by portraying them as resistant of the capitalist system. ...read more.

Middle

An insight into relative deprivation can also explain white collar crime, as it can occur in all social classes. This shows that as a person becomes wealthier, it is likely they will become greedier, so they still want more expensive investments which they may not be able to afford. A solution that Kinsey, Lea and Young produced enabled them to make police aware of the fear of crime in certain geographic areas. They argue stop and search policies are largely ineffective as the officers rarely find anything and merely antagonise the public sphere as a whole, on which the police rely. They also suggest that the police should work with the young people to solve the criminal activity problems in their local areas. Priorities need to be made correctly in problematic areas. There needs to be more investment in these areas to improve the living standards of poorer families and to provide jobs for the unemployed. An improvement on leisure facilities would be ideal, to "keep kids off the streets" and making something of their teenage years rather than thieving or fighting. When coming to evaluative conclusions of the Left Realist approach, you will find that they offer practical solutions to the criminal activity problems within society. More than other theories do, they focus on the victims of crime to get more of an idea as to why the criminals are offending in the first place. Left Realists also put forward a theory of why poorer groups in society are likely to commit crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wilson and Kelling found that the neighbourhood effect intertwined with a reluctant amount of social control can also help reduce crime. They also found that vandalism attracts further vandalism; this is known as the broken windows effect. Another way to reduce crime would be for the public could report local nuisances and any forms of criminal activities. New Right theorists suggest that individuals will make a rational decision to commit crime if the opportunity is there and it is easy to commit crime. They will also consider if the potential benefits outweigh the potential costs. They therefore argue it should be made difficult to commit crime and the costs of committing crime should be higher. A big problem with this theory is that it fails to look at unequal opportunities and the causes of crime such as poverty. The theory is also based on assumptions that may not be accurate, such as lone parent families being a factor of crime. Jones states that factors such as a lack of investment are far more important in preventing decline in of an area than tolerance of a few broken windows. He also points out that the theory ignores the three strikes and out rule that the American law system uses. Interactionists would say that this theory ignores the notion of the typical offender, because it focuses on all races. Right realism has had a considerable amount of influence on policymaking in Britain, yet it has led out society to preoccupation with retribution and punishment, making a rise in prison population. ...read more.

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