How Society Perceives Crime And Perceives Criminals Essay

How Society Perceives Crime And Perceives Criminals Essay

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Deviancy and criminality is present within any society (Walsh, 2011). Depending on the crime itself, society then equates a certain punishment that is deserving of the act. The media is frequently portraying certain individuals and groups in a way that define them and often distinguishes them from another group (Walsh, 2011). In terms of contemporary crime, the various social constructs have been dissected by social scientists in order to analyse how society perceives crime and perceives criminals. Three core identifying factors, including class, gender, and race illustrate an often differing statistical representation when compared and contrasted with each other.
Intersectionality is a term in itself, linked with the cause of Feminist Theory and Marxist Theory (McCall, 2005), where it is the “relationships among multiple [human] dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations…” (pp.1786). When thought of from a power ploy, it is clear that the factors – class, gender, and race – are in fact factors that contribute to the understanding of crime. Crime, therefore, and more specifically crime statistics, can be understood from a power-distribution disparity. Those typically from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, from minority racial and ethnic groups, who are often perceived to be going against gender-constructs – women, attempting to go beyond the historic and social norms – and men, who are not able to meet the masculinity constructs – are often the ‘groups’ overrepresented in criminal justice systems and criminal literature (Walsh, 2011; McCall, 2005; Hunter et al, 2004).
Aboriginal and indigenous-Australian women, from rural and remote communities seem to be overrepresented in the criminal justice system ...


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...e indicates that they are larger proportions of the prison population than they are of the general country population (Hunter et al, 2004). While in the US, women are more likely to be given leniency for their crimes than men are (Maggard et al, 2013); Indigenous Australian women are not (Hunter et al, 2004). Maggard et al (2013) actually reference core aspects as to why the study found women are given more leniency than men are – first, a larger proportion of the women were attending school and doing well in their education pursuits than the men. Secondly, the women were more likely to have a family unit to go back to if they were to be released from prison, than the men. And lastly, the women appeared to be overall ‘better’ citizens, with the study finding that 43% of the women offenders’ entered themselves into rehabilitation programs, compared to just 11% of men.

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