The Effects of Poverty upon Crime and Disorder

1516 Words Feb 26th, 2018 6 Pages
‘... Nakedness, hunger, distress of all kinds, death itself have been cheerfully suffered, when the heart was right. It is the feeling of injustice that is unsupportable to all men’ ( Thomas Carlyle 1839, cited in Reicher 2011: pp26).

In order to discuss the riots in a wider context as opposed to ‘pure criminality’ we must consider the effects of structural inequality in Britain, as mentioned in the previous section of this study a vast majority of the rioters came from locales that are considered to be areas of social exclusion and vast inequality (Bennett 2013).
The effects of poverty upon crime and disorder are by no means a new idea however the inequalities between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ have grown considerably since the 1970’s with the rise of consumer capitalism and neo liberal politics ( Hall et al 2008). The policies of Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government such as having a small state, the privatisation and closure of industry in Britain and de-politicizing the trade unions forever changed the cultural landscape of working class Britain (Hall 1997). There was a huge change in the employment market from the heavy industrial economy to the service industry. Those who were unwilling or unable to change and meet the demands of this new service industry were left unemployed and no longer had a political voice in the form of a trade union (Hall 1997). Thatcher and other neo liberal commentators stated that high unemployment…

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