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Sociology - Realism

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Sociology - Realism Left realism is a new way of approaching crime, which disputes the ideas of the left idealists such as Marxists. They attack the idea that crime can only be solved through a radical revolution and offer practical realistic solution s to crime. Similarly right realists also look at crime from a different angle. When looking at the causes of crime left realists do not agree with the idea of the 'modern day robin hood' that steals from the rich and redistributes income to the poor. Lea and Young see that the reality is that many of the victims of crime are themselves poor. In the USA Lea and Young found that unskilled workers were significantly more likely to get burgled and black people were more likely to get murdered than die in a road traffic accident. The left are also realistic about the differences in ethnicity and crime. The right offer no explanation for ethnicity differences in crime rates. ...read more.


Wilson and Kelling's view on 'broken windows'. They state that in order to prevent crime from getting out of hand you need to stop it at the first signs. For example, if one window gets broken, youths go around without being told off for bad behaviour etc. it deteriorates very quickly. The window must be repaired and the youth's punished at first signs. This will prevent them moving onto bigger crimes and maintain the community. The left agree with this view and believe that it is the community, which stops crime - the fear of 'what will others think'. They also believe that it is the process of being involved in production that reduces crime. When a person is working they have clear defined objectives such as higher wages, better conditions and can release their frustrations through trade unions and pressure politics. Those who do not work don't have this sense of community or objectives and nowhere in which to express their frustration expect through crime. ...read more.


These programmes have improved areas such as New York, but critics argue that the attention is taken off the bigger criminals as it is all focused on the smaller crimes. Wilson and Kelling have also been criticised for their controversial ideas that already run-down areas where law and orders has been broken down are a waste of valuable resources and money. It is best to invest time into places where there is still hope. Realist approaches have also argued that welfare programmes and anti-poverty schemes do not work in reducing crime. There were applied in the USA and consequently followed by an increase in crime. Also it is argued that OAP's have low income and yet have low rates of crime, as do immigrants. Also unemployment levels were low in the 1930's as were crime levels compared to the 1980's. It is therefore reasonable to say that crime cannot merely be prevented by schemes to redistribute wealth and it is a complex procedure of social factors that will reduce view levels. ...read more.

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