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Analyse Sociological Contributions to Our Understanding of Relationships Between Crime, Deviance and one of the Following:- Ethnicity, Social Class, Age, Gender.

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Analyse Sociological Contributions to Our Understanding of Relationships Between Crime, Deviance and one of the Following:- Ethnicity, Social Class, Age, Gender.

During this essay I will examine the sociological contributions which can help us to understand the link between crime, deviance and ethnicity.

Crime is defined as being an act which is against the law, and deviance is defined as an act which goes against the norms of society. Ethnicity is defined as being a group that shares a culture, religion or language.

When we look at both ethnicity and crime it can be said that ethnic minorities, according to most official statistics, are either most likely to commit crime compared to whites or have the highest prison population. Due to this research it is easy to suggest that most ethnic minorities are criminals but sociologists choose to look beyond the statistics and understand the link between crime and ethnicity.

Firstly Sociologists like Paul Gilroy, believe the high levels of crime within ethnic groups is mainly due to negative stereotyping by the police. This police racism causes most ethnic minorites to be arrested and charged compared to whites. In addition Gilroy also argued that the media creates negative images of ethnic groups, especially young, black, males, to create moral panic or in other words to distract from the main issues in society and cause fear towards other groups.

However other sociologists like Young, argue although this may be true, official statistics and victim surveys are fairly reliable and accurate therefore Gilroys arguments are too simplistic.

Moreover, Young agrees that the negative attitudes and actions of the police towards ethnic minorities are also valid, but the main problem is the fact that minorities felt socially excluded and disadvantaged. This meant that it was far easier to commit a crime to gain the things you lacked especially if you don’t feel a part of society. Futhermore, Bowling and Phillips suggest social exclusion caused a vicious circle, therefore further exclusion from society.

To add to this Sociologist Aaron Cicourel observed the Californian police and discovered that they had a particular stereotype of a typical criminal, usually they were young, black, working class with an attitude towards authority. Therefore anyone who resembled this stereotype was more likely to be arrested and charged than someone who didn’t.

This meant that young black males were constantly being labelled as criminals which made it harder for them to continue as a normal person in society.

Some sociologists conclude that young, black males are not just stigmatized and stereotyped by the police but also during their education. For example a teacher may have their own stereotype of a low achieving pupil possibly a young, black male which makes them feel and be treated differently from other pupils. As a consequence this can create a self fulfilling prophecy where the pupil becomes exactly what is expected of them.

This labelling continues further in life usually through the media, jobs etc and causes unemployment, poverty and possible criminal behaviour. It is believed criminal subcultures eventually develop who share their own set of values and norms and reject societies own, as a result they feel cut off from society or �a underclass’.

Right realists, Charles Murray blames this underclass for the high levels of crime and focuses on welfare dependant, single mothers who create a lack of good male role models therefore, boys from these single families are less likely to become good fathers. This lack of responsibility makes it difficult

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