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May 11, 2018 / C H Thompson

Feminist perspective of crime – revision notes with evaluative points

The feminist perspective views crime as rational. The behaviour of women can be understood in the context of patriarchal society. Women are born, bred and raised in a society where men are in charge.

  • Pat Carlen (1990) – argued that due to the ‘class deal’ (material rewards) and the ‘gender deal’ (rewards from fulfilling roles), women are encouraged to conform to societies norms and values.
  • Most women just accept these deals and conform to society; they don’t want to commit crime because they have too much to lose, and so these deals prevent women from committing crime.
  • Carlen also suggested that women crimes are crimes of the powerless from the women who have not been offered these deals (such as being unrewarded in the family and workplace) and so can’t receive the rewards.
  • Therefore women commit crime as an alternative rational choice, for example shoplifting is an ‘easy’ alternative.

Evaluation of Carlen

(-) The theory is based on a study of only 39 participants, which may be too small of a sample size to make such generalisations.

(-) The theory suggests that women deviate from their social norms due to feeling unrewarded, but this doesn’t fit with the control theory

Continues…

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