Within this essay there will be a clear understanding of the contrast and comparison between left and right realism, supported by accurate evidence that will support and differentiate the two wings of realism.
During the 1970’s to the early 1990’s there had emerged two new approaches to the study of crime and deviance. The discipline of criminology had expanded further introducing right and left realism, both believe in different areas and came together in order to try and get a better understanding on crime and prevention. There were many theorists that had influenced the realism approaches such as; Jock Young (Left Wing) and James Wilson (Right Wing).
Realism, in philosophical terms, refers to the concept that there is a reality beyond our perception. This means that how we see things and what we believe about them has no impact on the nature of said things. For example an individual may see an object as blue and another see the same object to be red, this is merely a disagreement between both parties about how they should label the colour. This wouldn’t mean that both parties are discussing different objects, this shows that no matter what individual’s beliefs or thoughts on the real world are only ever approximations and do not accurately capture reality. (O’Brien, M and Yar, M, 2008)
Right realism was originated around the 1970’s and was heavily influenced by politicians, originally it was believed to have originated in USA, by the policy makers and republicans, and were brought in to the UK by prime minister Margaret Thatcher. According to White et al (2012), those that supported the right realism had clear foundations, those being, to place responsibility for crime on the individual that had committed and reasserting the importance of punishment in responding to crime. White et al (2012) also explains that the conservative policy writers had utilised ‘sound bites’ to allow greater emphasis on their stance of crime, such as; stop and search, zero tolerance, three strikes and out and do the crime, do the time.
Those that believe in this approach oppose against rehabilitation and treatment of offenders and that they should be incarcerated, this would also act as a deterrent to potential offenders thus giving social control.
Charles Murray (1990) had developed a theory called the ‘underclass’, this theory categorises those living in poverty and defines them as non-working, inadequate and dangerous to society. Such writings have been an influence on the right realists and have a need to reinforce personal responsibility for an individual’s behaviour. Murray goes on to discuss two different types of underclass, firstly, the poor. These are people that only have low income but maintain their morals and standards and secondly, there are those with low income and their morals and standards match that. Those households with low standards are stereotyped as untidy and contain drunken and disorderly behaviour. He claims the men cannot keep jobs and...