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Criminology and Sociology Literature Review

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Jemma Smith 200238427 Criminology and Sociology Literature Review The first journal by Chahal states that the Macpherson Report's definition of racism suggests that anyone, including white people, can be a victim. This is a fact which the author strongly disagrees with. He believes that the definition stated does little to clarify what racism actually is and who is most likely to suffer from it i.e. ethnic minorities. He also feels that the definition is meaningless due to the fact it fails to look at the motivation behind racist incidents. It also makes it too easy for anybody to say they have been the victim of racism. It ignores the fact that black and ethnic minority people are more likely than white people to be the victims of racist incidents. A great deal of racist activity against blacks and ethnic minorities occurs but, according to Chahal is failed to be recorded because these minority groups fear retaliation and the fact they may not be taken seriously. ...read more.


Chahal's argument is that you have to be in the minority to experience racism and though demographically in the whole of Great Britain this is the case, in some areas, in some cities it is in fact true that white people are in the minority. In these areas white people are attacked but this could be due to factors such as resentment for past experiences and in some cases down to retaliation. In these areas such as Oldham where reports of racist violence are attacks on whites by Asians, this could be explained by the fact that Asians find reporting racist incidents against them useless. Though the articles differ on whether of not white people can suffer racism, the underlying theme in both of them is the same- ethnic minorities are at a disadvantage in the legal system. The article also states that in order to begin to deal with racism it has to be acknowledged more widely. ...read more.


This is a major hindrance as Solomos feels that in order to deal with racism now and in the future, you must first establish where it began, its roots, before anything else. This is a theme that runs throughout the article. There is a line in the Macpherson report, which says that the incident that led to the murder of Stephen Lawrence was only a few seconds (The Macpherson Report cited in Solomos 1999). Solomos believes that what led to Stephen Lawrence's murder was a much longer period than this, a number of years, all the years that racism has occurred in the past. All three articles agree that the Macpherson Report makes some major points though some have been made in other reports before and it also makes "recommendations...about general policies on race relations, racism, education, social policy..." (Solomos 1999). The problem is that "policies...look good on paper" Ray, Smith Wastell 1999) but are hard to implement. The report admits racism is out there but does little to say how it should be dealt with. ...read more.

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