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Explanations/theories of crime
Terms in this set (4)
1. Right realists believe that crime is a growing social problem and is largely committed by lower working class male juveniles, often black, in inner city areas.
2. This underclass are usually from single parent families, lack positive male role models or authoritative figures, are poorly educated, ill-behaved, delinquent and live in a culture of dependency with no intention of working.
3. Right-realists blame the welfare state for creating an underclass that don't take responsibility for themselves and their families and live off the state and illegal activities.
Biological theories of crime attempt to explain that criminal behaviour and violence is down to an individual's genetic characteristics and that this behaviour is largely beyond an individual's control. Essentially this suggests that it is in some people's nature to be criminal or violent.
Chromosomes are part of the cell that carries hereditary DNA information in the form of genes.
1 in 1,000 men have an individual has an extra Y chromosome.
XYY (supermale) chromosomes may act on the brain's limbic system which regulates man's impulses toward violence and can somehow help trigger violent criminal acts.
Studies have shown nearly 4% of a prison population may have the XYY trait, in contrast to less than 0.1% of the general population.
'Nature' - Individualist explanations of crime range from the idea that some people are 'born criminals' through the idea that criminals simply make decisions to commit crimes by balancing the risks of rewards vs punishment.
Modern biological theorists now tend to argue that inherited biological factors alone can't explain criminal behavior and are often triggered by other, often social factors such as upbringing or trauma.
'Nurture' - Collectivist explanation of crime suggests that factors in society i.e the environment people grow up in , such as poverty, peer pressure, use of alcohol/drugs will make some people more likely to commit crime.
'nature' vs 'nurture'.
Marxists essentially see crime and deviance as defined by the ruling class and used as a means of social control.
They argue that blue collar crimes (committed by the poorest and least powerful in society) are prosecuted more than white collar crime (committed by the richest and most powerful in society)which often goes unpunished.
White collar crime arguably does more damage to society, e.g. fraud costs the UK economy £73 billion a year yet its estimated that only 1.5% of frauds are ever reported and only 0.4% ever receives a criminal sanction.
Marxists believe Blue collar or working class crimes, committed by the less powerful in society, such
as burglary and street crime are focused on and seen and treated more punitively, e.g. a college student with no criminal record was jailed for six months for stealing a £3.50
case of bottled water during the 2011 London riots.
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