Outline and Assess Feminist Views of Crme and Deviance.

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Outline and assess Feminist views on crime and deviance. (50)

Within Feminism itself there are many different approaches to crime and deviance including Liberalism, Radicalism and Post-modernism. Each of them believes that crime, or the lack of crime, is a result of the patriarchal dominance in society. Feminists believe that the patriarchy generates crime against women whilst discouraging deviancy amongst women.

The official crime statistics show that men tend to commit more crime than women, and some Feminists would agree with this. One theory put forward is that this is because of the differential socialisation of males and females. Oakley argues that males are socialised to be aggressive, self-seeking and individualistic, which
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A major criticism is that most female criminals are working class and they have not been hit by women’s liberation. This can be explained in detail by Carlen.

Carlen adopts Hirschi’s control theory when explaining crime, which assumes that humans are essentially rational and they will turn to crime when the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages and are more appealing than the likely rewards of conformity. Carlen argues that the working-class background is fairly typical of female offenders convicted of more serious crimes. According to Carlen, working class women have been controlled through the promise of rewards stemming from the workplace and the family. She identified the ‘class deal’, which offers a decent standard of living for women who work, and the ‘gender deal’, which offers material and emotional rewards to women who conform to conventional domestic gender roles. In terms of the class deal, the women in Carlen’s study failed to find a legitimate way of earning a decent living. In terms of the gender deal, some had been abused by partners/fathers. They had gained nothing from either deal and so felt they had nothing to lose by using crime to escape from poverty.

This idea of a rational calculation of the advantages and disadvantages of crime runs parallel with the Rational Choice Theory offered to us by
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