In 750 words outline the view that society is both fearful of, and fascinated by crime.
We live in a society and at a time when stories of crime whether as reality or works of fiction are all around us. Our newspapers and TV seemed to be filled with numerous sensational stories on crimes of sex and violence with books, films and even our gossip with friends and family creating a fear of crime whilst at the same time we showing that we are also fascinated by criminality. Accordingly, this essay will identify and describe the fear of and fascination for crime in contemporary Britain since1945.
There is no straight forward definition of crime . From a legal perspective, a crime can be defined as an act that disobeys the law, whilst from a normative perspective as an act that goes against the formal or informal norms of society. The meaning of crime varies per jurisdiction and society and when discussing crime it is therefore imperative to specify these factors. (Mooney et al, 2004)
A popular representation of crime is that it gets worse year on year. Criminologist Robert Reiner (1996) stated that “in the last 40 years, we have got used to thinking of crime, like the weather and pop music, as something that is always getting worse” (Reiner 1996, cited in Mooney et al, 2004, p.11) . This statement is reflected in the contemporary narrative in the UK that increasing crime leads to a society in which people fear becoming a victim of crime. It also suggests a less stable community and decreasing moral values. Also, crime and its causes are continuously an important subject on the UK political agenda which seems to go hand in hand with this contemporary narrative and Reiner’s observation above. A study by criminologist Mike Maguire shows a significant increase in crimes recorded by the police since the late 1950’s (Maguire, 1997, cited in Mooney et al, 2004). This quantitative evidence of rising crime, however, needs to be put into perspective . Maguire, for...