• 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 ...

    Regardless as to whether future capital expenditure plans will be significant enough to meet rising demographic trends, the declining output of the social housing stock (shown in Figure 2.0) reflects widespread concern over the potential acceleration of the housing deficit.

  2. Discuss both the 'how' and 'why' of addiction, focusing on the main models that ...

    cited in Goode (1999). Nonetheless, the theory fails to explain how a given activity, such as drug use, is liked by one individual and not by another. To make up for such a limitation, cognitive theories try to offer an explanation in terms of the way people interpret their

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

    legally; they will develop methods, which allow them to achieve their goals by illegal means (synonymous with Merton's 'innovation' adaptation21). Box further believes that most of corporate crime is initiated by high-ranking officials, which suggests that they are the least likely, to be suspected of being criminal, as they are

  2. Women, Homelessness and Domestic Violence.

    automatically considered as being in 'priority need' solely on the ground that they were fleeing from domestic violence. However women without children are not considered 'priority need'. Despite the change in policy, Pascall (et.al.2001) argues, ' the priority to be given to women experiencing domestic violence still lies in the hands of myriad and diverse local housing authorities'.

  1. Define and explain the respective meaning of absolute poverty and relative deprivation(TM)

    When the World Bank calculates its "$1 a day" statistics, it uses a poverty threshold. Now Poverty thresholds can be defined in different ways but one of it is: "Social Security benefit based. If a government guarantees to make income up to some particular level then it may be presumed that that level is the poverty threshold.

  2. In order to attempt to control crime it is important to understand why people ...

    This assumption is clearly not accurate as a majority of crimes are committed on impulse. There is also a suggestion that involvement in family, jobs etc restricts us from the opportunity to deviate. This, however, does not explain situations where the deviant may be completely bonded with society through a job and family, and yet still commit occupational crimes.

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

    unacceptable basis for a harmonious community and it will lead to more serious problems if it is not tackled.' The Community Cohesion Review Team recognised that some communities felt particularly disadvantaged and argued that the 'lack of hope and the frustration borne out of the poverty and deprivation all around them, meant that disaffection would grow.'

  2. Critically assess the theories of crime

    Owen (1972) at the time looked into these findings and found that those with the XXY disorder were more likely to commit sexual offences rather than violent ones, which was more widely recognised as being true. Another idea about physiological approach to theories of criminology came from the work of Sheldon (1942)

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