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May 11, 2018 / C H Thompson

Ethnicity and crime revision notes – with evaluation

  • As previously discussed in neo-Marxist perspectives, Stuart Hall looked into the rise of black mugging in the 1970’s.
  • He looked into how the media exaggerated and amplified the situation and created moral panic, folk devils, and deviancy amplification.
  • However, Hall et al said that not only was black mugging a product of labelling, but due to the economic situation that the moral panics placed them in they became marginalised to the edge of society, this driving black youths into a ‘culture of resistance’ at school, unemployment, ‘causing’ them to drift into a life of crime

Evaluation

(-) Hall’s theory only explains one particular situation in the 1970’s, but crime stats for ethnic minorities are high today without their being a crisis.

(-) Downes and Rock argue that Hall et al. is inconsistent in his claims as he argues that black crime isn’t rising and that it is just a myth, but then he also says that black crime is rising because of unemployment.

(-) Hall et al. doesn’t show how the capitalist crisis led to a moral panic, and they don’t provide evidence that the public were in fact panicking.

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