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

Assess sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates (21 marks) According to the crime rate in England and Wales, the most committed crime amongst male and females was; theft and handling of stolen goods. These crimes, according to official statistics are mostly committed by the working-class; nevertheless this is not to say that other social class do not commit crimes. Explanation for crime and deviance in society has been attempted to be explained by many sociologists, for example labelling theory, subculture theory and also left/right realist. However they focus on working-class crimes, and fail to provide an explanation for middle-class. High crime rates amongst working class people may be down to the targeting of working class people, police officers may have an idea of what a ' typical criminal ' may be, and a young working class male often fits this stereotype. This could result in over policing and unfair treatment of this targeted group, this class bias results in a distortion of criminal statistics, with the victimized group showing up more often, even if their actual offending isn't that much higher than perhaps the middle class. ...read more.

Middle

reasons a lot of white collar crime goes unpunished, which means that middle class perpetrators are often underrepresented in the criminal statistics. This also means that public attention is not diverted from the traditional working class street crime, which means that, due to the deviancy amplification spiral, public and police are more alert and vigilant to working class crime, which could also cause selective policing to working class crime because of its attention, even if it is not warranted. From a Marxist perspective, the reason for the social differences in crime rates is because of the 'unequal structure of society '(Item A). The capitalist society based upon private enterprise and individual gain creates frustration and aggression amongst those who are not suited to and are oppressed by this system, namely the working class. Marxists argue that the working class are never in a position to succeed in capitalist society and that crime is one of their only outlets and opportunities for success, because of the alienation from capitalist society, working class people, especially young males, lash out the system that victimizes them, through crime, and this in turn leads to high amount of working class males being represented in the criminal statistics. ...read more.

Conclusion

They would also argue at how the corporate crimes are not fairly or equally recorded in the statistics. In conclusion, it is apparent and obvious that white collar and blue collar crimes are treated differently by the authorities. Blue collar crime is treated more harshly, with more money being spent to prevent it (with things like CCTV etc), a larger amount of arrests, convictions, and sentences for working class members, whereas white collar crime is often treated extremely leniently, because of its privatized and somewhat lesser known nature, it Is often only given warnings, short prison sentences, or fines. The reasons this are much argued and varied, but it is most likely a combination of cultural problems, deprivation of the working class forcing them to be aggressive to gain what comes easier to the middle class, unequal societal values, working class being alienated and starting from a lower position than the middle class, and the fact that the ruling class often do not seek to punish high status figures, and would rather stimulate moral panics about the seemingly less threatening ' middle class folk devils'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance 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 AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    The final element is the 'Nature of deviant process as a whole. The idea is to integrate all elements of the deviant process including awareness of social and self determination. Taylor et al supports Marx's theory claiming that inequalities in social factors lead to crime.

  2. Are the working class the criminal class

    The media exploit the working class also by imputing continuous stories of working class related crime. This relates to Hall 'policing the crisis' where stories of 'muggings' were implemented to prevent social panic of other crisis' arising. In a way it could be inferred that the ruling class are oppressing

  1. Assess the right realist view that crime is the result of biological rational factors ...

    Instead they seed to devise practical measures to make crime less attractive. Their main control is on control, containment and punishment of offenders rather that eliminating the underlying causes of their offending or rehabilitating them. Wilson and Kelling article 'broken windows' argues that it is essential to maintain the orderly character of neighbourhoods to prevent crime taking hold.

  2. Assess the Sociological explanations of social class differences

    People become so obsessed with personal gain and coming out on top that breaking the law seems a minor barrier to success. This is one of many reasons why Marx wanted the abolishment of capitalism, and regarded communism as utopia.

  1. Free essay

    Assess sociological explanations of the different crime rates of men and women.

    They conducted a longitudinal study of female offenders which led them to find that female offenders were much more likely to have had harsh or erratic parenting, and to have had little support or praise from their parents for their achievements at school and in their community.

  2. Outline and Assess Sociological Approaches to Social Control Within Crime and Deviance

    There are many examples of this in our society, CCTV, tagging, curfews and rehabilitation problems, and Cohen says these are all parts of an ever-growing, invisible net of control. Furthermore, he charts the rise in the amounts of private firms offering security packages.

  1. Using Item A and elsewhere, assess different sociological explanations of suicide

    Showing that there are patterns of suicide which can be studied scientifically with social underlying causes and in this example, shows there is a correlation between anomic suicides and the rate of divorce and illegitimate births.

  2. Poverty and Crime rates

    For example, statistics show that 121 million children worldwide are out of education2. This shows that children whom are becoming uneducated by dropping out of school at such a young age are not able to realize what?s wrong and what?s right.

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