Textbook Notes (368,326)
Canada (161,799)
Criminology (124)
CRM 102 (29)
Chapter 9


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CRM 102
Scott Clark

Chapter 9: Left Realism Introduction: • Seen as the best response to two conflicting perspectives on crime; Marxist Criminology and New Right Criminology • Left realists wanted to highlight that majority of victims of street crime were from working class NOT middle and upper classes • Wanted to reorient the law and order debate away from the middle class fear of the working class • Focus on how the working class suffers from crime • Reasonable and practical response to problem of crime in inner cities Social Context: • Political response to the law and order agenda of the right • Emphasis on controlling crime rather than dealing with the causes of it could be seen in the responses to the British riots of 1981 • Riots occurred in areas of poverty and high levels of unemployment • Left realists argued that the riots had 3 factors; (1) West Indian Counterculture, (2) political marginalization of the inner city and (3) policing methods • Argue that countercultures thrive where the expectations of material rewards are not available to certain sectors of the family • Those who lived in decaying city areas lacked access to an effective voice within the political process • Government & state agencies didn’t address marginalization felt by people in certain areas • LR (left realists) argue that police deliberately shift away from deprived neighbourhoods • UK riots set the early formulation of LR being defined as a theory primarily concerned with the control of crime rather than the preconditions of crime • Major concern of the marginalized poor was not crimes of the powerful as suggested by Marxist criminology but domestic violence that was an everyday experience • For left realists it was the street crime of inner city neighbourhoods that should form the focus of criminology Basic Concepts: • Pragmatic focus on crime control • Not concerned with lengthy analyses of what crime is • Content is to define crime as contained in the legal code • Defines crime in traditional terms because local residents are likely to view crime in traditional terms • Major tool of LR is the local crime victim survey • Emphasis is on addressing the concerns expressed by inner-city populations • More recent analysis is focused on “square of crime” – consisting of 2 dyads • (1) concerned with criminal act which consists of the offender and victim, (2) social control which includes social action and social reaction • Acomplete analysis should focus on both dyads • Cause of crime can span the condition of the working class areas including; poor facilities and lack of jobs • Cause of crime results from the amalgamation of 3 aspects: (1) deprivation of those in the working class which gives rise to countercultures,(2) lack of access to political sphere, (3) dissent and police responses • Offenders are responsible for their behaviour which is antisocial and destructive • Motivation to offend springs from relative deprivation and offenders do not offend as a result of free will • Crime can be controlled by p
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