Outline & evaluate sociological explanations of the relationship between crime & ethnicity

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Outline & evaluate sociological explanations of the relationship between crime & ethnicity

Dated theories of crime contain a limited amount of intelligence where crime and ethnicity is concerned. In recent years the debate on crime and ethnicity has slowly been opened up and addressed by the media. They have focused their attention on certain crimes such as street crime and deviance. This type of crime often involves the most amounts of violence, fatality and a nuisance to society.

The official statistics reveal that ethnic minorities are by far over represented in crime. Some sociologists would agree that ethnic minorities actually commit more crime. Others argue that the criminal justice system is biased against black people and that the crime rate for ethnic minorities is simply higher because of this bias. They also show that they are disproportionately stopped and searched by the police force. It even states that ethnic minorities make up a larger proportion of the prison population in Britain. Sociologists are divided in their opinion when accounting for a relationship between crime and ethnicity.

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Marxists suggest that the state passes laws to benefit the ruling class and that the laws are not enforced equally in society. This often leaves lower classes and ethnic minorities in a worse-off financial state. Hall uses a moral panic theory to explain the panic over mugging in the 1970’s. The media focused their attention on street crimes in inner city areas and often linked them with black youths. This then had an effect on the police, where they would then start patrolling these inner city areas more regularly. Negative statistics soon increased and a moral panic developed. If ...

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