Realism Essay

Submitted By chav1
Words: 1091
Pages: 5

Realism essay
Realism looks towards the area of crime that is often ignored by the more prominent sociologists, which is street crime. Not big corporate crime but instead smaller things that are happening basically everywhere and are affecting individual areas. This is because they believe this is the crime that really threatens society, it needs stamped down on before it gets out of hand.
Right realists argue there are several reasons for the level of street crime that is taking place in modern day society; as Item A shows the first of these is biological differences, this is that if you have a low IQ then you are more likely to commit crimes as you don’t understand the punishments that comes with being caught. Also certain personality traits like aggression are linked to criminal behaviour. This is an idea put forward by James Q Wilson that it comes down to your IQ level and how you were socialised.
Though they do not just blame it on biological patterns they also believe how you are socialised will make a big difference to the path you take in life. For example if brought up in a middle class family you will know what is right and wrong and therefore will act according following the law. But children that come from a broken family may have had parents who have failed to socialise their children properly and create an underclass, people growing up with role models who don’t work or follow the law so they believe that’s how you should live your life. As Item A shows an estimated 70% of young offenders come from lone parent families, this backs up the view that socialisation can have a big impact on the path people take, if they don’t have the ‘correct’ role models they are more likely to turn to crime to find them. Males without a father figure are also more likely to turn to crime because they do not have a male role model in their life to look up to and learn from; therefore they may turn to others i.e. male gang leaders and grow up believing what they are doing is right and then go on to do it themselves.
Finally right realist say that an important element of peoples decision whether to commit crime or not is whether the reward outweighs the possible punishment, this is known as the rational choice theory. They believe before committing a crime criminals will weigh up the risk factor of what they are about to do. If they believe they can go in commit the crime and get out with the goods without any lasting consequences then they will go ahead and do it; but on the other hand if they were going in for a petty crime but in an area with high police patrol they may decide to leave it and go elsewhere. Having said this if the reward is large enough many criminals are prepared to take huge risks in order to try and get the reward. Sometimes it works and costs the victim loads but other times they will be caught and receive quite hefty sentences. Although as Wilson currently it is seen that for a lot of petty crime even if caught the punishment is quite low,, often just a telling off and in the eyes of right realists this has led to an increase in this type of crime as more and more criminals are getting away with doing it.
Right realists though are not too bothered about people’s reasons for doing crime, whether they have problems or have been ineffectively socialised; while they may understand the reasons they don’t care about them, they just want the crime dealt with. This is why they believe the way to tackle crime is have a zero tolerance policy on it, the second a crime is committed, jump down harshly on the criminal with strict sentences, getting justice and making them less likely to commit the crime again. They also argue that you must try to maintain a peaceful neighbourhood environment and if anything goes wrong i.e. graffiti or vandalism needs to be dealt with immediately. Finally they argue one of the most…