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  • 1. Stratification and The New Right
  • 2. New Right / Right Realism - Definition • Right Realism is an radical version of the Functionalist approach. Also known as Neo-Liberalism. • Right Realists suggest inadequate Socialisation are the main roots for the current ills of society. • They question the view that economic factors, like poverty or unemployment are the reasoning for societal problems such as rising crime rates. • Instead they suggest that, for example, crime is linked to inadequate social control and the blame lies with the individual and in societies lack of disciplinary action. • Main sociologists of the New Right – Peter Saunders, David Marsland and Charles Murray
  • 3. New Right - History • Belief in free markets • Small state • Low tax • Equality of opportunity • Meritocracy • Individual responsibility •All based on the 18th/19th century ‘laissez faire’ liberalism of Adam Smith and WE Gladstone •If markets are allowed to be free the ‘hidden hand’ of the market will look after everyone
  • 4. New Right - History • Emerged in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the political shift to the right in both the USA and UK. • These governments favoured rolling back the welfare state together with a strong commitment to law and order. • They favoured a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on crime with the increased use of prison (and the USA the death penalty).
  • 5. The ‘Right Solution’ - UK • The 1970s a watershed for Britain • Thatcher articulated elements of ‘New Right’ ideology • A free economy and a strong state ‘Get government off the backs of the people’, increase choice, reduce planning, stimulate innovation – Small but strong gov’t to restore ‘rule of law’ and impose a ‘radical’ right agenda
  • 6. The ‘New Right’ Thesis • Free market capitalism is inherently benign: – Best guarantor of individual freedom: a negative view of freedom i.e. the absence of constraints to individual action – Expresses human innovation and acquisitiveness: the pursuit of self- interest benefits all – Generates huge increases in wealth and prosperity – abundance and the abolition of absolute want – Greater inequality but benefits ‘trickle down’ producing the best possible ‘welfare’
  • 7. The New Right Thesis cont. • States should be minimal and govt. small: – Limits to effectiveness of conscious planning – Perverse incentives or ‘moral hazard’ – free provision leads to trivial or reckless use; generous benefits produce poverty • Inequalities are necessary and desirable – Equality before the law – At most equality of ‘opportunity’, level playing field – Reward effort and initiative • Left alone markets are self-regulating, so meet needs, abolish poverty and increase wealth • Residual welfare state for those who can’t genuinely provide for themselves: means testing not universalism • Choices – vouchers for health and education services
  • 8. Permanent Consequences? • Shift from pluralist politics to ‘strong leadership’ • Restructured welfare on to new pathways – particularly radical 3rd term 1987 + • Some positive challenges to professionalism and bureaucracy? • Accelerated the decline of manufacturing Britain, South- Eastification of Britain • Growth in poverty/inequality, weakened social solidarity, reinforced individualism
  • 9. Saunders and Stratification • All societies NEED stratification • Societies where there are unequal rewards work best • Egalitarian societies inevitably become repressive whereas in egalitarian societies become freer • If everyone was treated equally force would need to be used to get people to undertake difficult or unpleasant jobs • “In the absence of economic rewards and penalties the only sanctions available would be those involving threat of physical force”
  • 10. 3 Types of Equality •Saunders identifies 3 types of equality: 1. Formal or Legal equality – everyone has the same standing under the law and the same legal rights 2. Equality of Opportunity – everyone has an equal chance to become unequal – they start the race of life from the same start line and the best get ahead 3. Equality of Outcome – everyone gets treated the same regardless of ability or effort •Saunders supports 1&2 but rejects 3
  • 11. Inegalitarianism • Saunders and the New Right believe in inequality because they argue it promotes economic growth, self fulfilment and individual responsibility • Meritocracy works – individual selfishness leads to benefits for everyone
  • 12. New Right and Social Policy • New Right thinkers also criticise as harmful social policies designed to create greater equality • Murray argues that over generous benefit systems create a dependent underclass who in turn develop a deviant and harmful culture of dependence, laziness, immorality and criminality
  • 13. Socialisation and the Underclass • Charles Murray of the New Right – argues that misguided generous welfare benefits have created a ‘new rabble’ or underclass and a mass of single parent families which in turn spawn delinquents. The Underclass live in a different world to respectable people, their lifestyles characterised by deplorable, reckless and feckless behaviours.
  • 14. The Underclass Behaviour • Illegitimate births rising especially among lower class women. There is no longer a stigma attached to divorce, cohabitation, illegitimacy. • Rising crime rates among lower class males Effect • Father’s absence means kids ‘run wild’; cohabitation does not provide a stable childrearing environment. • Destroys communities by creating suspicion / fear. Boys follow the only role models they know (gangsters) and turn to crime.
  • 15. The Underclass Behaviour • Unemployment: many young lower class males are unwilling to take paid work. Effect • Young fathers cannot support a family so don’t get married – rising illegitimacy. Young males prove themselves through criminality instead of paid work. • Destroys communities by creating suspicion / fear. Boys follow the only role models they know (gangsters) and turn to crime.
  • 16. Stratification and Crime • Right Realists such as Murray reject the idea that structural and economic factors e.g. poverty and inequality cause societal disorders such as crime. • They point out that the old tend to be poor yet have a very low crime rate. • Crime to the Right Realists is the product of three factors: 1. biological differences, 2. socialisation and the underclass, 3. the rational choice to offend.
  • 17. 1. Biological Differences • Crime is caused by a combination of biological and social factors • Biological differences between individuals make some people innately more strongly predisposed to commit crime than others e.g. personality traits such as aggressiveness, extroversion, risk taking, low impulse control put some people at great risk of offending. • Herstein and Murray (1994) main cause of crime is low intelligence which they also see as biologically determined.
  • 18. 2. Socialisation and the Underclass • Primary Socialisation teaches us self control, we internalise moral values of right and wrong. The best place for this is the nuclear family. • Murray: Suggests the nuclear family is being undermined by the welfare state.
  • 19. 3. Rational Choice Theory • Clark (1980) • Individuals are rational beings with free will • Deciding to commit a crime is a choice based on a rational calculation of the consequences • If the rewards appear to outweigh the costs, the people will be more likely to offend. • Crime rate is high because perceived costs are low e.g. little risk of being caught and lenient punishments
  • 20. Society under attack? • Crime is the result of ‘growing up surrounded by deviant, delinquent and criminal adults in a practically perfect criminogenic environment – that is, one that seems almost consciously designed to produce vicious predatory unrepentant street criminal.
  • 21. Right Realism - Criticisms • Ignores wider structural causes such as poverty • Overstates offenders rationality and how far they make cost-benefit calculations – may explain utilitarian crime but not violent crime. • Overemphasises biological factors • Preoccupied with petty street crime and ignores corporate crime (which it can argued is more costly and harmful to the public)
  • 22. Right Realism – Criticisms cont. • Advocating a zero tolerance policy gives police free reign to discriminate against ethnic minority youth/homeless etc. Crime becomes displaced in other areas • Over emphasises control of disorder, rather than tackling underlying causes of neighbourhood decline e.g. lack of investment http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 2014/01/23/darrin-manning- testicle- rupture_n_4651700.html