Crime and Social Inequality Essay

Crime and Social Inequality Essay

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Crime and criminalization are dependent on social inequality Social inequality there are four major forms of inequality, class gender race and age, all of which influence crime. In looking at social classes and relationship to crime, studies have shown that citizens of the lower class are more likely to commit crimes of property and violence than upper-class citizens: who generally commit political and economic crimes. In 2007 the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that families with an income of $15000 or less had a greater chance of being victimized; recalling that lower classes commit a majority of those crimes. We can conclude that crime generally happens within classes.
Property Crime can be defined as the unauthorized taking or damaging of an individual’s personal belongings. This is not limited to robbery of any kind, fraud, or even arson, but all of these crimes have several coinciding traits that group them under this term. While property crimes are meant to take something that is not ours and use it for our own advantage, violent crimes are used to harm or even kill another rather than using for ones self. This includes hate crimes, murder, rape, and abuse. Hate Crimes are unique because they usually target someone who’s different than the race or sex of that individual committing the offense whereas murder and assault are not always gender or race defined. Therefore, property and violent crimes are influenced by social inequalities that are caused by gender, race, income and age; thus why the legal definition of crime cannot cover all possible scenarios without taking each individual case and studying social behaviors in these of why or what was the cause of the crime committed.
Criminalization occurs whe...


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...bers fired upon police forces. Despite the controversy of May 13th, it exemplifies criminalization. The authorities felt threatened by a particular group, in this case MOVE, an organization predominantly African-American with radical political notions. Although race may not have been affected the motives of the group it is possible that they affected the actions taken against them. Keep in mind that although African-Americans had equal rights in the 1970s and 1980s, they were still a minority and heavily discriminated against.
Crime and criminalization can be ambiguous; crime is only crime until certain authorities deem the actions illegal. However, social inequalities can lead to increased crime rates, notions such as gender, age, race, and class influence crime and provide criminologist with the date to determine who is most likely to commit a crime and where.

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