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Using Material From Item B And Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations Of Ethnic Differences Both In Offending And In Victimisation. (21 Marks)

833 words - 4 pages

According to official statistics, there are significant ethnic differences in the likelihood of being involved in the criminal justice system. Specifically, black people are over-represented in the system. In this essay I will talk about the reasons for these differences.

One of the reasons for the differences in crime statistics is put forward but left realists Lea and Young (1993), they argue that the statistics do, in fact, reflect real life differences. Left realists see crime as the product of relative deprivation, subcultures and marginalisation. They argue that racism has led to the marginalisation and economic exclusion of ethnic minorities, who face higher levels of unemployment, ...view middle of the document...

In addition to this, stereotypes have changed since the 9/11 attacks and therefore criminalisation rates for Asians have rose.

When talking about victimisation, ethnic minorities have a higher risk for being a victim of a racially motivated crime, as seen in Item B. The British Crime Survey shows that people from mixed ethnic backgrounds have a higher risk of becoming a victim of crime (36%) compared to Blacks (27%), Asians (25%) or whites (24%). The differences may be partly the result of factors other than ethnicity. For example violent crime, factors such as being young, male and unemployed are strongly linked with victimisation. Ethnic groups with a high proportion of young males are thus likely to have higher rates of victimisation. Although, some of these factors, such as unemployment are partly the result of discrimination. Sampson and Phillips note that racist victimisation tends to be on going overtime, with repeated, ‘minor’ instances of abuse and harassment interwoven with periodic incidents of physical violence.

Gilroy argued that the idea of black criminality is a myth created by racist stereotypes of African Caribbeans and Asians. In reality, these groups are no more criminal than any other. However, as a result of the police and criminal justice system acting on these racist stereotypes, ethnic minorities come to be criminalised and therefore to appear in greater numbers in the official statistics. In his view,...

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