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Research Essay

1345 words - 6 pages

A violent crime occurs every 23.5 seconds in the United States of America. Even though crime has been at a low during the past decade, violence is still prevalent in today’s society. Most of these crimes happen in places that are socio-economically disadvantaged. There then is the debate of whether violent crime is associated with environments struck with poverty. There is a correlation between violent crimes and poverty because of the unemployment rates in major cities, the culture of poor areas, and drugs.

There are three components that must be looked at before carrying on. They are: poverty, social inequality, and relative depravation. Poverty is defined according to an economic standard. The income deemed necessary to meet basic living needs determines a poverty line. Those living “under” the poverty line are regarded as “poor” or “in danger of poverty”.

Social inequality is the comparison of material levels between different groups of society. In this case, it is between those who have the least and the other groups. Studies have found higher homicide rates in areas with a greater degree of economic inequality and have found it to be a more significant component than poverty. Cities with higher rates of economic inequality are compared to those with less. New York and Los Angeles have wider gaps between the rich and poor than cities in less prosperous parts of the country like the Deep South.

Relative deprivation is more psychological. It is the concept that there is a distinction between the quality of life of poor, middle class, and the wealthy. Resentment and injustice must be present for relative depravation to be a significant factor. This phenomenon is thought to be particularly acute in large cities where the wide gap between the wealthy and the poor is readily apparent every day.

There is an unmistakable connection between violent crime and poverty. Chicago, Philadelphia, Flint, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Newark, and Oakland all were among the cities with the highest murder rates in 2012. These cities are among the most socioeconomically disadvantaged in the areas the murders were committed. These cities are also among the list of cities with the highest rates of unemployment. Los Angeles: 9.2 %, Chicago: 9.1%, New York: 7.9%, to name a few (Statistics).

Why would anyone follow the “right way” if you see your parents did so and are still jobless? This is a problem all over the world evident by demonstrations such as the Occupy movement, the Brazil protests, the protests in Greece, etc. These protestors are still voters and this causes a divide in a nation, hence the escalated instability and violence. Another big contributor is that of discrimination. If the majority of the poor in the US are black and brown, and poverty leads to crime, then most of the criminals will be black and brown. This is the case wherever the criminals are the poor ones.

It can be argued that the “right way” is to get an education. Some say...

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