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Usefulness Of Realist Explanations On Crime & Devience

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Introduction

'Asses the usefulness of realist explanations of crime and deviance' There are many advantages and disadvantages of the realist explanations of crime and deviance. There are two realist groups, which are the right and left realist and the both focus on realistic views and theories. These theories were created to point out other theories flaws and to help support and abandon laws. A right realist, James Q. Wilson rejects the view that factors such as poverty and low employments rates are the reason for the rising crime rate. This is because Wilson found that in the 1960's the USA kept-up their longest period of wealth during this time but crime rate were rising drastically which shows that crime is not a cause of poverty and unemployment. But on the other hand you could say that these statistics are out-dated and society would act differently if that situation presented itself again. ...read more.

Middle

They also lay all of the blame in individuals, the working-class and single-parent families headed by women, but they don't take into account that these mothers may not be bringing up their child alone by choice as the father may have left, run off or died. Left realist on the other hand focus on the reality of crime which is what right realist claim to do but fail. Left realist see the main problem area of crime as being committed by working-class being to other working-class people. They don't completely ignore corporate crime but they give and an explanation as to why they don't go into to it, which is they don't see it as life threatening or personal as street crimes. They criticise earlier theories that explain crime because they don't look at the whole picture. Young (1997) argurd that to get a full explaination of crime four key elements have to be looked at, which are the victims, offenders, the polices/courts reaction and the reaction of the public to the police/courts. ...read more.

Conclusion

They over-predict crime as their theories such as relative deprivation can be applies to everyone which would make it seem that everyone is committing crimes, when in fact, according to The British Crime Survey, has been falling since the mid 1990's. They also rely on victim surveys to measure the type, amount and overall fear of crime. This leads to problems with validity because victimisation is left down to the individual to define. In conclusion the right realist approaches are useful in the way that they are trying to stamp down on crime but they completely ignore corporate crime and focus soley on working-class crime. The left realist ignore this as well but they at least mention why they don't have an input on corporate and white collar crimes. But on the other hand they both agree that the police and courts can only play a limited role in stopping crime and the informal controls of society is more important because it keep society unified in preventing crime. ...read more.

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