Exploration Of Realism Essay

1272 words - 5 pages

Exploration of Realism

Left realism is a new way of approaching crime, which disputes the
ideas of the left idealists such as Marxists. They attack the idea
that crime can only be solved through a radical revolution and offer
practical realistic solution s to crime. Similarly right realists also
look at crime from a different angle.

When looking at the causes of crime left realists do not agree with
the idea of the ‘modern day robin hood’ that steals from the rich and
redistributes income to the poor. Lea and Young see that the reality
is that many of the victims of crime are themselves poor. In the USA
Lea and Young found that unskilled workers were significantly more
likely to get burgled and black people were more likely to get
murdered than die in a road traffic accident. The left are also
realistic about the differences in ethnicity and crime. The right
offer no explanation for ethnicity differences in crime rates. Lea and
young attach left idealists such as Gilroy who claims that criminal
statistics are fabricated and police racism accounts for the
differences. They point out that the public reports 90% of crimes to
the police; therefore the police themselves uncover only 10%. Also the
recorded rate for Asian crime is always constantly lower than that of
white crimes so it therefore casts doubt on the idea that police
racism accounts for the statistics. Lea and Young also challenge the
left idealists view that crime amongst ethnic groups was due to the
anti-colonial-struggle especially as today’s ethnics are 2nd and 3rd
generation, and first generation immigrants were highly law-abiding,
so it seems unreasonable to think that they passed this down to their
children. It is plausible to say that racial discrimination and
oppression plays more of a role in crime rates that a political attack
on a white racist state. Like we have seen in the topic of religion,
religion can in fact reduce crime levels for example Asians commit
less crime as they have traditional strong religious beliefs.

The right, however, see crime as more to do with being rational. They
believe that criminals are rational; like most people are and if the
costs of doing something outweigh the benefits it will not be done.
This can be applied to crime; they see appropriate punishments,
harsher sentences and heavier policing as the solution to crime. The
risks of getting caught need to be higher and the punishments greater
in order to deter criminals. Both the left and the right agree on a
different approach to policing and that social control and community
has more impact on crime than anything the state can enforce. Wilson
and Kelling’s view on ‘broken windows’. They state that in order to
prevent crime from getting out of hand you need to stop it at the
first signs. For example, if one window gets...

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