Right Realist Approach to Sociology

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Assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance. (21 marks) Right realism is a conservative and extreme functionalist view of crime. They see it as a rising dilemma that destroys societies. Sociologists such as James Q Wilson have stressed the point that it cannot be tolerated. The right realist views closely match with those of the neo-conservative views in the 70s and 80s. They both argue that ‘nothing works’. Right realists are more concerned with solving crime rather than understanding the causes. Right realism favours increasing the cost paid by those who commit crimes by for example giving harsher sentencing. Right realists such as James Wilson and Richard Herrnstien put forward a biosocial theory of crime. They believe that criminal behaviour is made up of biological and social factors. They believe that people may be biological more attracted to committing crime than others for example, they believe traits such as aggression and risk taking are inborn in the person and this causes them to commit crimes. They also think that the socialisation of the person leads to their tendency towards crime. They believe, like conservatives and new rightist, that the nuclear family is the best form of socialisation and avoiding crime. Another right realist, Charles Murray, believes that the rising crime rates may be due to a rising ‘underclass’, those who are defined by deviant behaviour and fail to socialise their children properly. Right realists also think that the state plays a big part in the rates of crime. As people can rely on the state to provide them with money people are less encouraged to go out and work to earn their money, fathers no longer need to support their children as lone parents can live off benefits, therefore decreasing the rates of marriage and the amount of nuclear families which the right realists believe lacks
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