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

Explore the relationship between poverty and crime.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INTRODUCTION This report aims to explore the relationship between poverty and crime. This is by no means a succinct topic and for a comprehensive overview to be sought, the report needs to be broken down into several areas. Such areas include a definition into what exactly is meant by poverty, the causes and also how each primary cause of poverty belies a link to crime.......................... WHAT IS POVERTY? Poverty can be measured in a variety of ways: unemployment, high rate of divorce, single-parent households, dilapidated housing, poor school or concentration of minorities, are but a few examples. Therefore in an effort to determine the relationship between poverty and crime all these factors must be considered. Firstly it must be pointed out that in terms of social inequality poverty is studied in terms of relative and not absolute deprivation. Relative depravation is best understood through the words of Karl Marx as he once said : "A house can be large or small; as long as the surrounding houses are equally small it satisfies all social demands. But if a palace resides beside the little house, the little house shrinks into a hut." It is apparent from this that relative depravation or poverty is present in modern societies such as those in the USA and UK. WHAT CAUSES POVERTY? It is an undisputable fact that Britain under the Conservative governments from 1979 to 1997, largely pushed the issue of poverty in a political wilderness. ...read more.

Middle

Much elaborated, these theories provide the taproots for most modern theories of crime and deviance. Their relevance to the rise and rise of crime rates in the post-war period now seems indisputable, since they alone can address the paradox that crime has risen steeply with growing prosperity and reduced but persistent inequality. When greater affluence is combined with growing inequality and the rise of what has been called a winner/loser culture, crime has climbed even more steeply (James 1995). In England and Wales, official crime rates doubled over the 1979-92 period, most dramatically by 40 per cent between 1989 and 1992, though victim surveys have shown half that rate of increase. Differences of age and gender are surprisingly constant, over time and between different societies. Most crime (apart from the largely hidden icebergs of occupational crimes and domestic violence) is youth crime, committed by a minority of young men and boys under the age of 25, who are disproportionately drawn from the urban, under-educated, under-employed working class. Youth and crime are so strongly linked because adolescence is a limbo between childhood dependence and adult maturity: energies are high, outlets are few, needs are keenly felt and authority is to be tested and resisted. The gender divide persists because girls are much more carefully watched by parents, deflected from risk-raking (Hagan, Simpson and Gillis 1979) and, though here things may be changing fast, brought up to anticipate reliance on a male partner in raising a family. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a clear link between lone parent families and poverty and therefore crime. Evidence from the National Centre for Policy Analysis in the USA shows the relationship between lone parent families, poverty and crime. Children of single parents are more likely to have psychological problems, fail to achieve success educationally and commit crime especially if they come from poor backgrounds. * The poverty rate for female-headed households with children is 44.5 % compared to 7.8 % for married couples with children. * The rate of arrest for juvenile violent crimes has more than tripled over the past three decades, echoing the upsurge in single-parent households. * High out-of-wedlock birth rates correlate with high crime rates among young men. * Studies show that most gang members come from single-parent homes. * Of juvenile delinquents in reform institutions, 70 % had lived in single-parent homes or with someone other than their natural parents. * One study found that 60 % of rapists come from single-parent backgrounds. * Another study found that 75 % of adolescent murderers come from single-parent homes. Many criminologists support the evidence which suggests lone parent families are poor and therefore more likely to commit crime. The 'anomie of fatherlessness' is recognised by sociologists Dennis and Erdos (1993) and they reject the opinion that "if the rate of unemployment were to fall to the level 1960s, the crime rate would fall to the level of the 1960s". They believe that the breakdown of the family and social conditions have changed too dramatically to mean that full employment would eradicate poverty and crime in the process. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Theory 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 University Degree Social Theory essays

  1. To what extent, therefore, has current Labour Government Policy successful tackled the issue of ...

    Obviously 'major increases in the supply of affordable homes are extremely unlikely without the underpinning of adequate subsidy for production,' and from this quantitative analysis one can conclude, as Richard Best indeed argues, that it is 'by no means certain that the amounts of additional funding so far announced in

  2. A research project into the perceptions of graffiti by certain individuals and groups can ...

    A more standardised approach however, would have possibly reduced the amount of irrelevant information that was gathered, as the interviewees would have been guided more thoroughly through their responses. Such a systematic interview technique would have ensured that most of, or all of the information gathered was of relevance, and

  1. The ethnic minority population of the United Kingdom has increased at a tremendous rate ...

    and Punjabi or Kashmiri village orientations which all favour strong network contacts which are preserved by geographical proximity.' The bulk of discussion however can be found in local newspapers, where the impact of the Bradford riots and the daily outbreaks of racial disharmony within the city can be seen.

  2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: 'McDonald's stands for American cultural ...

    And today McDonalds Corporation is running restaurants even in places like Mecca in Saudi Arabia where a product that is associated with modernity and pop culture is difficult to imagine. The influence of McDonalds has reached far beyond confines of the United States and the fast food business (Schlosser, 2002).

  1. The issue of corporate crime i.e. why businessmen as opposed to the working class ...

    Sutherland believes that, as a result of this omission that they do not explain the criminality of either class. In his later essays10, Sutherland debated whether 'white collar crime' was strictly crime i.e. as Sutherland believed that 'white collar crime' may fall outside the traditional definition of crime i.e.

  2. Why has it proved so difficult to formulate a definition of poverty that is ...

    There are a few diverse ways in which poverty can be defined. Firstly there is the argument over whether or not poverty should be measured in absolute or relative terms. Absolute poverty is a concept which is said to occur when "people fail to receive sufficient resources to support a

  1. Why are men from lower socio-economic backgrounds more likely to go to prison ?

    Because of this view held by the majority of the working class they have solidarity between them and so they are able to stand together and fight for what they perceive as unjust causes. An example of this would be the miner's strikes during the eighties who fought the government to protect their jobs and their communities.

  2. When compared with other age groups, the elderly are the least likely to become ...

    Of particular concern was the subject of fear of crime among the elderly population as this sector of the community raised concerns to social planners (Jones, 1987). This concern resulted from the fact that the elderly reported extremely high levels of fear of crime despite their status as the least

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