Lectura 12 (2017)Ejercicio Inglés
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Guillem Campillo Camps
Lynch, M; Stretesky, P. (2001). Radical criminology. A: R. Paternoster i R. Bachman (eds)
Explaining criminals and crime. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company, 267-286.
PREGUNTES: 1. Elabora un diagrama y explica la relación entre clase social y delincuencia que se postula en el artículo.
Capitalism Inequality Less chances for the lowest classes to succeed Members from the lower classes have got more chances to engage in criminal conducts Guillem Campillo Camps unybook.com According to the article, the authors, who are among the faction of criminology which gives importance to the critical theories (the radical theory in this case), explain crime as a consequence of the strong inequality produced by the capitalist system. This inequality is mainly found in the class system, but also in both racial and gender issues.
However, the area which is given more importance to, is the class system, which is regarded as the main cause of crime. The authors argue that the unfairness produced by capitalism causes crime mainly in the lower classes due two reasons. In first place, being born in an aversive economic environment will raise difficulties and barriers, which will keep the world of success away from the members of the worker class. In order to improve their situation, through legitimate means, workers will protest with acts such as strikes and marches, which will be usually criminalized together with other conducts and habits that, only take place in the poor classes (lower part of the diagram). Nonetheless, most delinquency doesn’t appear while workers are trying to succeed through legitimate ways, but when they have already failed and start deviating, with the objective to fit in the society that have rejected and mistreated them (first part of the diagram).
2. Explica el incremento de la población penitenciaria según la teoría de los autores.
Following the principles stablished in the first question, which relate delinquency to sociostructural features such as inequality produced by capitalism, in class, sex and racial areas.
According to these facts, an increase of the penitentiary population, so as to say, an increase of the delinquency, has to have its origin in an increase of the inequality. Data suggest that capitalism’s structure has a tendency to make rich eventually richer, a richness that has got its origin in a worsening of worker’s class life and work conditions. Apparently, specially since the 1980s and 1990s inequality is strongly increased. This is backed up by studies. For instance, Wolf says (1995) that the richest 1% of America’s population, owns a 39% of all American wealth. The number of millionaires and billionaires increased at the same time home-owner-ships and retirement savings were strongly declining. Other studies (U.S census Bureau 1999, Currie and Skolnick 1984) suggest that the top 20% percent of income earners won more than the 50% of all income, while the bottom 20% received 3.6% of the totality.
The top 5% take home 22% of all income. In short, in the last decades, working hours have Guillem Campillo Camps unybook.com increased and wages have decreased, becoming the rich even richer and the poor even more poorer. As we have seen, inequality is increasing so it’s not strange that penitentiary population is increasing too.
3. Explica las semejanzas y las diferencias entre la teoría de los autores y la teoría de la anomia.
When comparing any critical theory, the radical theory in this case, to the anomie theory, there is one main similarity that must be always said: both theories explain crime with a macro-structural argument, the inequality produced basically in capitalist societies, which effects negatively the lower classes of the society, leading them to commit more crimes.
Nonetheless, despite this big similarity, there are numerous areas where the two theories differ. In first place, while anomie (or strain) theory is focused on the negative feelings such as strain, created by the frustration produced by the great difference between expectations and achievements. Quite differently, the critical theorists don’t ever talk about strain or frustration, as they simply relate the higher crime in poor classes to the lack of opportunities found in them. In second place, another difference is the fact that the anomie theory always sees crime as a consequence of the success pursuing failure. Radical theorists say that behaviors adopted by workers while trying to succeed (strikes, marches…) are as well often criminalized. In third place, I think that another difference between the theories can be found in the explanation that they give in order to explain the low criminality rated found in the upper socioeconomic classes. On the one hand, while an anomie theorist would argue that a member of the high classes won’t offend because his/her expectations and achievements won’t be really different, so the individual won’t experience feelings such as strain or frustration, that can lead someone to commit crimes. On the other hand, a critical theorist would say that it’s not only because richest people have got more chances to succeed but also because richest people control the society, through processes like the law making, which will be more beneficial for them, criminalizing conducts which take place in the other classes.
Guillem Campillo Camps unybook.com 4. ¿De acuerdo a la teoría crítica, cómo deberían prevenirse los delitos medioambientales? Critical criminology theorists criticize the fact that big capitalist companies, in order to maximize benefits and reduce costs, tend to explode to the limit their productive resources, paying no attention to really serious environmental issues, thing that affect in an extreme negatively way the society’s health. The most classical example is the pollution produced by factories, which mainly affects people with less economic resources, as they live closer to industrial areas, so their health is more directly affected. To try avoiding this kind of practices, during the last years, governments (pressured by the people, obviously) have started to sanction companies which pollute more than the legal limit. Nonetheless, most companies ignore this kind of sanctions because it is more rentable for them to be fined and keep their production levels surpassing the legitimate ones. What should be done is to strongly increase the celerity and severity of sanctions, so the companies which don’t follow the regulations end up losing more money than they earn by polluting some much.
Furthermore, a system of rewards could be implemented, so companies with ecofriendly strategies could economically be rewarded. This way, companies would start competing to each other in order to make their production as green as possible. After all, its capitalist strategy to fight a bas consequence of capitalism.
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