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Crime And Social Inequality Essay

1369 words - 5 pages

Crime and criminalization are dependent on social inequality Social inequality there are four major forms of inequality, class gender race and age, all of which influence crime. In looking at social classes and relationship to crime, studies have shown that citizens of the lower class are more likely to commit crimes of property and violence than upper-class citizens: who generally commit political and economic crimes. In 2007 the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that families with an income of $15000 or less had a greater chance of being victimized; recalling that lower classes commit a majority of those crimes. We can conclude that crime generally happens within classes.
Property Crime can be defined as the unauthorized taking or damaging of an individual’s personal belongings. This is not limited to robbery of any kind, fraud, or even arson, but all of these crimes have several coinciding traits that group them under this term. While property crimes are meant to take something that is not ours and use it for our own advantage, violent crimes are used to harm or even kill another rather than using for ones self. This includes hate crimes, murder, rape, and abuse. Hate Crimes are unique because they usually target someone who’s different than the race or sex of that individual committing the offense whereas murder and assault are not always gender or race defined. Therefore, property and violent crimes are influenced by social inequalities that are caused by gender, race, income and age; thus why the legal definition of crime cannot cover all possible scenarios without taking each individual case and studying social behaviors in these of why or what was the cause of the crime committed.
Criminalization occurs when laws are enacted to inhibit certain social behaviors, deeming actions that were not previously illegal to become punishable. An example of criminalization would be the acceptance of marijuana in the early 1900’s until the legislators decided that it would be deemed an illegal substance; thus making the act a crime and those who partake criminals. This is just one example of how a behavior is transformed into a crime and therefore monitored and regulated by forces such as the authorities. Within the criminal justice system, the lawmakers and authorities have now taken criminalization to the next level by monitoring those who could be susceptible to committing crimes, watching certain neighborhoods and those who fit into the behaviors before the crime even committed. The criminal justice system takes into consideration the social stats of these people and decides who is ultimately going to commit the next crime based on the social inequalities found in our society.
Social inequalities are the difference between one family having insurance and living in the suburbs, while others are in low-income housing and on welfare. Criminalization and Social Inequality are connected by the opportunities that could arise if the...

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