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Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
Social Problems & Crime
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Social Problems & Crime

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  • 1. Scott & Bourne A Complete Anecdote Has Never Been Told: Insights into Social Problems and There Relations to Crime in Innercities S. Scott & Paul A. Bourne 11/6/2013 Citation: Scott, S. & Bourne, P.A. (2013). A Complete Anecdote Has Never Been Told: Insights into Social Problems and there Relations to Crime in Innercities. Kingston: Socio-Medical Research Institute.
  • 2. Introduction Understanding the social problem of crime and violence in Jamaican inner cities (commonly referred to as ghettos) is crucial to the development and future of the country. A high incidence of crime and violence in the relatively depressed areas of the society cannot be divorced from the larger structures of power, political control and citizen relationship. As such researchers may find that studying and understanding this problem will help to determine if there is indeed a causal relationship between crime and the listed variables. It may help in the improvement of these conditions that are favorable to the manifestation of crime and violence. Studying the issues of crime and its influential social problems are also important as it may help to prevent future generations from being socialized into a society of brutal, irrational and ill-conceived violence. The high incidence of crime and violence in Jamaican inner cities is as a result of poverty, unemployment, low educational attainment, lack of social mobility, and social inequality. The social inequalities in the Jamaican society is captured in the Gini coefficient, the work of Derek Gordon (1987), Carl Stone (1987) and not the least is Adijah “Vybz Kartel” Palmer. Unlike Gordon and Stone were political scientist at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Adijah Palmer is a dancehall artiste whose works encapsulate the his lived realities and those that caught his attention from others’ experiences. Emergency we a suffa roun ere Roun ere man a dead Tings tuffa roun ere Crime scene, that nuff man a go fa roun ere Missa man weh yuh doing fi d gutter roun ere? “Emergency”- By: Adijah “Vybz Kartel” Palmer 2
  • 3. Welcome to Jamrock! It is no secret and definitely no surprise that Jamaica is one of todays leading scenes of escalating crime and violence (March & Bourne, 2011; Powell, Bourne & Waller, 2007; Bourne, 2010, 2011; Bourne, Pinnock & Blake, 2012; Bourne & Solan, 2012). The plight of the Jamaican deejays in songs such as “Emergency”, “Look into my eyes” and “Ghetto Anthem” are not only for record sales or “forwards” but as a means of voicing the cries of the disadvantaged majority. It is difficult to identify exactly when this crime problem begun but it is obvious that there is indeed one and that it now serves to threaten the very existence of the country. Newspaper head lines such as “Three slaughtered today”, “Bodies found in Barrels downtown”, “Man stabs woman to death” “Police raid finds 800 kg coke and ganja” and I could name many more of similar nature, are no exaggerations, they are not fiction, they are what happen in Jamaica on a regular basis. Crime and violence is not a new phenomenon, Barry Chevannes (1996) holds that violence as a means of settling disputes is as old as mankind, as the story of Cain and Abel tells. Jamaica is then no exception, we are not the first and we definitely will not be the last. However according to the study “They Cry Respect” (1996), Jamaica has moved from that state of verbal violence or stick fights which existed in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s the use of the gun. Chevannes holds that nothing is more swift and irreversible than the modern gun. Already the crime rate here in Jamaica has surpassed that level of tolerance. Headley (2002) asserts that over the last 40 years, annual homicides in Jamaica averaged in the vicinity of 40 or more murders per 100,000. However crime runs the entire gamut- ranging from the common property crime to fraud, racketeering and corruption in the highest places. But the most worrisome has been the high numbers of homicides. 3
  • 4. According to Don Robotham (2003) the contributory factors to the high incidence of crime and violence in Jamaica are the general demographic, economic, political and social factors. These factors have been found to contribute significantly to the creation of an environment conducive to the high rates of violent crimes. He continues that there is a plethora of such factors: the size and growth of the 15-29 age group, population urbanization and density. The slum communities around parish capitals particularly Kingston, St. Andrew and St.Catherine continue to grow as unemployed and undereducated youths migrate from rural communities in search of better conditions in the city. Professor Trevor Munroe (2002) asserts that often these “better conditions” that they seek are non existent and the conditions are often times much harsher in urban areas than they are in rural areas. However many choose to remain in the urban areas and hence have helped to increase the hopelessness of the area. Robotham continued to list housing and social services, levels and duration of unemployment, levels of literacy and education, cognitive and moral development, inequality and social distance and value changes in Jamaican societies in recent years, as influences on the crime rate in Jamaica. The extraordinary crime rate in Jamaica, particularly in the capital city of Kingston is prevalent in the fractions that are regarded as inner cities or ghettoes. Anthony Harriot (2003) holds that for the most part these areas are deprived of the material economic base whereby its members can reproduce and adequately maintain themselves. Harriot goes further to speak of blocked legitimate opportunities and social exclusion that result in the alternate illegitimate opportunity structure that engenders aggressive behavior and violence. The alternative structure created by these individuals is the means through which they “get paid” and are able to “survive”. This structure goes against the societal norm that dictates that a legitimate 9 to 5 job is the acceptable means of getting money. These inner city members resort to what Professor 4
  • 5. Bernard Headley (1994) describes as basic street leveled crime and violence, which includes robbery, petty larceny, house breaking, stickups or even murder as their means of survival. “Poor people fed up, to how the system sheg up”! Any people who do not spend enough to provide for the poor, won’t be able to spend enough to protect the rich - Tanya Stephens What is poverty? Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not being able to go to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job; it is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways .Most often, poverty is a situation many people want to escape but hardly ever do. Poverty is vicious, poverty can be deadly. Jamaicans living in the some rural areas or “country” and in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) inner cities or ghettos have forever been plagued with an on going vicious cycle of poverty. The literature on poverty in this paper will be as it relates to crime and violence. Over all poverty has increased and crime expanded during the forty odd years since Jamaica was granted its independence. The Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (2002) states that the incidence of poverty averaged 19.7% in 2002 compared with 16.9% in 2001. Anthony Harriot (2001), states that the high concentration of the incidence of crime and violence in the Kingston Ghetto areas is hardly a chance occurrence. These are the areas where the poor, unskilled, longterm unemployed and marginalized citizens are concentrated. Many reside in these areas because they are poor, and there children continue to be poor because they reside there. Except in a few cases, urban decay exists in all inner city communities, occupied mostly by the unemployed and working poor. This concentration of urban joblessness, poverty, and poor 5
  • 6. educational opportunities, is a result of a long process, which has now matured and has become criminogenic. Although many administrations have tried to implement policies to stem the problem of poverty, it still persists to an alarming extent. Bernard explains that this persistent poverty simply indicates that the means of survival is denied to people, the door to better prospects is slammed shut in their faces. He argues that the root causes for the alarmingly high levels of street crime and violence are in a society that either withholds or denies prized possessions from a significant number of its citizens. If this indeed the case then “why are we so surprised at the level of crime and violence that exists in these communities, and as a result in Jamaica”? Is it because we finally realize that the problem of crime and violence in these relatively depressed areas cannot be divorced from the rest of the society? Headley holds that victims, whether they are tourists, shopkeepers, drug trade competitors, political foes or vulnerable women, all become expendable targets in a larger fiercer struggle for goods, status, money and power. In saying all this we have to point out that being a poor inner city resident does not mean that you are or will eventually become a criminal. We all know that the significant numbers of poor people living in the inner city areas are decent law abiding citizens only looking for an opportunity to improve their lot in life. Nevertheless it is a fact that social deprivation and poverty that exists in these areas often times force individuals to find alternate means to provide for themselves and their children. It is then not a coincidence that if you were to survey all the criminals in prison, you are unlikely to find among them many with addresses in Norbrook, Cherry Gardens or Beverly Hills. To prove this we will include studies carried out by Headley in the 1980’s and Hyacinth Ellis (1991). Both postulated that Jamaica’s imprisoned came disproportionately from the most disadvantaged or slum areas of the island’s urban 6
  • 7. centers. Headley goes further to implicate that rarely did the most violent repeat offenders come from the close-knit upper or middle class family or traditional settings of “the country”. Ellis confirms this assertion by stating that the Kingston /St. Andrew, urban St.Catherine are the places most commonly listed as addresses by inmates. Though these studies are rather dated, it continues to be exactly as Headley puts forward “the people we pay to lock up are the very same people we lock out of the society” It is this hopelessness amongst our poor people that continues to be the fuel for crime. The devil finds work for idle hands Providing no jobs and telling us stop the crime Is like beating a child and telling him not to cry With all the highway you a build and go tru Yuh neva build a likkle avenue fi d youths dem Earn a buck, things a run amok…….. “Turn the other cheek”- By: Vivene “Tanya” Stephens The fact is that the Jamaican economy has not performed well over the last 35 years; the country has therefore been unable to provide jobs to meet the needs of the ever growing population. Professor Headley holds that ever since the 1950s there has been a growing disparity between the annual rate of natural increase of the population and the capacity of the economic structure to absorb these individuals by means of employment. Bernard maintains that the classic problem that develops is too many persons chasing too little jobs. Of course these limited jobs often go to the persons with more to offer (that is those more educated or skilled). The sources of work are also limited by the high concentration of persons who have no skills and therefore form part of a very large group of common labourers. These unskilled persons make up what is referred to as unemployable persons. In this instance it becomes clear that the sole problem is not that these individuals are unemployed but that they are also lacking 7
  • 8. the skill and education making them unemployable in the nation’s job market. A survey done by the National Inner City Committee revealed that in 1993 a mere 13% of the residents of Jones Town (a Jamaican inner city area) had proper training in any particular skill. Another 53% admitted to having no particular skill whatsoever. However, in regards to this paper, I have chosen to expound on the concept of being unemployed rather than being unemployable. Nevertheless it is hard to write a paper like this without even once mentioning the other possibilities. Scarcity of regular or conventional jobs results in the inner city’s common labourers having to resort to odd sporadic forms of employment. Robotham describes a situation of a large youthful population (under 30 years) being unemployment (60%) with the majority of them being male. Headley holds that many of these young males sit idly by unless and until there is a programme or development which requires labour intensive input, usually on the docks or construction sites. When this type of job is not available, Headley lists car minding (typical today in downtown Kingston), casual messengering, postering, finding parking places, opening cars and cleaning cars as the jobs to which they usually resort. The newest phenomenon to date, that I have observed, is the “loada man”. This job entails getting passengers to occupy the taxi (loading), then the individual (usually male) gets paid from 50 dollars up for each load he provides. Many of these available jobs are regarded as “unprofitable” or below the reservation wage of the young males in particular but they often times have to make do with them. Harriot (2000) holds that work in the form of wage employment no longer exempted persons who participated in socially demeaning practices such as begging. Infact begging has become one of the most prevalent occurrences in Jamaica. To understand this one need only to 8
  • 9. take a brief stroll in down town, Kingston. On average, you will be guaranteed to come across at least 5 persons, male or female, begging“lunch money”, “bus fare” or just begging money”. Formal or legal employment is no longer the only solution young men have for gaining money. Harriot argues that with this particular good, all other social goods – power, status and respect, can now be purchased. The ghetto youth does not want to work from 9 to 5 for the “Babylon” for “likkle or nuttin” that is of course if they, the Babylon, are even willing to employ them. As such there is a growing lack of interest in regular employment and self employment tends to be the preferred mode of work. “Hustling”, “juggling” or robbery is more rewarding, both in the amount of money gained and the time taken to gain it. It is a fact that many crimes committed in Jamaica are responses to the material conditions inherent to economic dispossession. Essentially when you have a large population of unemployed or unemployable restless youngsters, what is to stop them from becoming employed in narcotics, hire for kill and other such deviant acts, that pays and pays well?. Urban poor are in some cases unemployed because they are stigmatized as criminal and dangerous. Harriot opines that it is this stigmatization that makes it hard for these people to get jobs in already tight labour markets. The owners of the business places do not want to hire a “Dwayne Anderson from August Town” for fear that he and his friends will relieve him of his property. Also contact with police and time spent in jail makes formal job access improbable. Headley holds that disconnected youths, locked out from basic societal benefits, powerless to change their situations then take advantages of the opportunities afforded by street crime. Jamaican dancehall artiste Tanya Stephens says it most eloquently “How can I promise me ago change when a legal life is above mi price range, mi affi hustle” 9
  • 10. These individuals may also become caught up in patronage which in Jamaica, more often than not, is associated with violence. The National Committee on Political Tribalism (1997) defines patronage as "the disbursement of the discretionary favours by the government officials”. This simply means that the scarce resources of a society are distributed on the bias of party affiliation. The manipulation of these resources provides strong motivation to party supporters, since for many it offers the means to their basic existence and survival . Bernard holds that though there have been a number of attempts by the government and other policy makers to fix the problem of high unemployment, it still remains pervasive. Migration has always been an option proposed by the government to deal with the problem of job shortages in Jamaica. But Buju Banton sums this up by stating “who can afford to run will run, but what about those who can’t? They will have to stay!” Faced with the problem of unemployment, it is apparent that these inner city persons “will have to stay!”, unless again they choose to resort to illegal means to get a visa, which in fact happens quite often. Regardless, the Committee on Political Tribalism holds that inner cities remain places of “high levels of unemployment, a proliferation of unskilled and unemployable youth, and pervasive poverty of purse and spirit”. Is education really the key to success? Ken Chaplin (2005) states that if the primary aim of education is to enable one to earn a livelihood and live a useful, harmonious life with one’s fellow citizens, then our Jamaican education system, especially at the early childhood, primary and secondary levels has failed its citizens to a large extent. It is then not surprising that we are in the predicament that we are in today. According to the National Committee on Political Tribalism, the poor conditions in the inner city communities reflect the failure of the education process, where young people, the regenerative capacity of the future, are graduated from schools without the basic skills required 10
  • 11. to perform in the formal economy. Munroe maintains that though there is a rapid rise in the levels of education since independence, there continues to be an “educated few” in our beloved island. He states that 50 years ago about 1 out every 10 persons had access to secondary education, while today the number is 7 out of 10. Though this is the case those persons at the base of the pyramid, the poor people, continue to be neglected. In a survey of the education system, it was noted that despite the availability of the additional spaces in the class rooms, urban inner city residents and their children continue to be the exception rather than the rule. The underemployment of the inner city persons prevents from being able to send or maintain formal education for themselves or their children. The Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (2002) reported that just over 72.1 percent of the population between 3 and 24 years old was enrolled in educational institutions. In the 15 to 16 age group, some 15.3 percent was not enrolled in a school; the numbers being 67.9 percent of males and 60.3 percent females. The drift of our young Jamaican males from school is a very serious problem. One of the most significant experiences in my life, having never really read anything about the demography of University of the West Indies, was to step into a class room “full a bear woman”. The female population greatly outnumbered that of the males. This then begs the question where are our males, especially our inner city males? The answer through mere observation seems- the street corner, the jail house, and the cemeteries. The study further noted that enrolment ranged from 16.9 among the poorest to 62.1 per cent in the wealthiest group. Among the unemployed poor, education tends to stop at the primary level with 70 per cent of them reporting no secondary education, says the Jamaica Poverty Eradication Policy. On the matter of attendance, the 2002 Survey states that based on data for a fixed period of 20 days, some 72.6 per cent of the students who were enrolled at the 11
  • 12. primary and secondary levels were sent to school all day during that time. The major factor constraining inner city students from attending school continues to be "money problems". Contrary to popular belief mothers and fathers in the ghetto do want to send their offsprings to school but they can hardly afford, literally living from hand to mouth. The basis of this argument can be summed up in the question asked by Jamaican Reggae artiste, Ritchie Spice, “if education is the key then why the bigga heads make it so expensive for me” The result is that most of our youths leave school lacking the basic skills and knowledge required to gain employment in any substantial paying establishment. The end product is unavoidable- barely literate young men and women, out of school having no money and no one to depend on, turn the next best alternative-crime. It becomes important for me however to mention that a few more privileged inner city residents do make it beyond the basic primary education; I can use myself as testimony to this. Harriot holds that another factor is the recent education reforms, students are required to attend school in their neighborhoods. Now the Ministry of Education under its reform plan of 2001 stated that education is best achieved in an environment that is caring, safe and one of mutual respect. However where schools are located in or around these inner city communities, it makes it hard for students to attend when there is a violent upheaval. There have even been cases where students have been killed or injured by the criminals residing in the area. Harriot declares that what makes matters worse is that there is little status reward for completing secondary education at these schools, say at a “Holy Trinity” or a “Donald Quarrie”. Another problem that arises is that when students’ do graduate from these institutions they find it hard to get jobs. This however, is not a problem of only the lower class inner city residents but also of some middle class persons. 12
  • 13. “The Haves and Have- nots” Here we will combine the literature collected on the variables- social inequality and social mobility. This is because there seem to be more of an inter-relation between the two, than any of the other variables. The social inequalities which enclose all the above factors of poverty, unemployment, educational attainment impacts on social mobility of persons in inner city communities. It is a fact that the inequalities that exist in a society have not only produced obvious deprivation, but also despair, anger and alienation. These inequalities make it hard for persons that “have-not” to improve their status and move into the class of the “haves”. Headley holds that in Jamaica, the disarticulated or one-sided developmentalism has been a condition of severe inequalities between the country’s haves and have-nots. Additionally, Diane Austin (1984) traces back the inequalities in education, employment opportunities, and the legal justice system to disparities in wealth between the upper and lower classes and the middle and lower classes. Today, Jamaica continues to have a high level of inequality; the SLC (2001) indicates that the wealthiest 20% of the population accounted for 45.9% of national consumption while the poorest 20% accounted for only 6.1% of national consumption. On average, the wealthiest 10% of the population consumed approximately 12.5 times the poorest 10%. In dollar terms this means that the richest 10% of the population had a mean per capita annual consumption expenditure of J$235,949.00 compared to J$18,721.00 for the poorest 10% of the population. Lack of social mobility is a very noticeable reality. Derek Gordon (1987) opines that the stagnation in the Jamaican economy causes a sharp decline in the upward mobility by hitherto conventional ways. In 1991, a Carl Stone’s publication in the “Daily Gleaner” listed the high levels of inequality and lack of mobility between the very rich and the very poor, as one of the five characteristics of a country with a very high crime rate. He maintains that there is a strong 13
  • 14. resentment of the conditions of poverty by significant sections of the poor. A similar sentiment is held by Headley, who goes further to add that this resentment has a way of developing into acrimony and bitterness, which later influences crime and violence. In Jamaica it seems that the poor will always be poor and the rich even richer. The only way to join the ranks of these wealthy fellows, or to “own a house pan the hill and drive a bimma” is to rob, kill or sell drugs. But be certain that these nouvaau-riches (newly rich people) will never be given the same respect or prestige afforded to Mr. or Mrs. so and so, who were born to wealth. That is the reality. So whether the inner city's differences are visible or verbal, one of the most divisive forces is that of fear, separating and dividing people into their imagined citadels of safety “gated communities with security systems and watchdogs have become increasingly the realities of uptown. Jimmy Cliff's soundtrack anthem "Many Rivers to Cross" sums up the hopeful despair of the city's dispossessed, emphasized by the unwelcoming dog. Inner cities bring with them all the hurt and rage of Jamaica’s oppressed and unemployed. They see themselves among the ranks of those excluded from wealth and power in Jamaica. David Howard (2004) argues that one of the striking features of the city of Kingston is the stark contrast of those who live uptown, North of Half Way Tree and those who live downtown in the ghetto. Those who live above and those who live below are the parts of a sharply divided city. Today, "New Kingston lies worlds, but only miles, away from downtown. Social Exclusion 14
  • 15. Jamaica is experiencing a social decay which is expressed in the high levels of corruption1, distrust2,3,4 crime5,6 and sexual harassment7,8 Despite the aforementioned issues and their contributions to conflicts, little is mentioned of the role played by social exclusion in the social decay. While much attention is placed on crime and rightfully so because of the lost of human lives (see Table 1), studies on crime in seeking find solutions to this monster have not examined social exclusion. The crime pandemics in Jamaica as well as many of the social ills are owing to the high degree of interpersonal distrust as well as distrust in social institutions 9. Interpersonal trust is critical to social cohesion that is need for an effective and highly productive society. Apart of the challenges that are embedded in the many Caribbean societies, particularly Jamaica, are social exclusion and marginalization, which run account for many of the social conflicts and distrust. While much has been written and said about male 1 Waller, L., Bourne, P., Minto, I., & Rapley, J. (2007). A landscape assessment of political corruption in Jamaica. Kingston: Caribbean Policy Research Institute, [CaPRI), p. 13 2 Powell L.A., Bourne P., & Waller L. (2007). Probing Jamaica’s Political culture, volume 1: Main trends in the July-August 2006 Leadership and Governance Survey. Kingston, Jamaica: Centre for Leadership and Governance, p. 24 3 Bourne, PA. (2010). Crime, Tourism and Trust in a Developing Country. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 2(2):69 4 Bourne PA, Francis CG, Kerr-Campbell MD. (2010b). Patient care: Is interpersonal trust missing? North Am J Med Sci 2: 126 5 March, C. & Bourne, P.A. (2011). The Influence of Macroeconomic Factors on Murders in Jamaica: Should the Police Be Cautious in Interpreting the Murder Statistics? Asian Journal of Business Management, 3(4): 257. 6 Harriott, A. (2004). Introduction. In: Harriott, A., Brathwaite, F. & Wortley, S., eds. (2004). Crime and criminal justice in the Caribbean. Kingston: Arawak Publication, p. 3. 7 Peters, R. & Bourne, PA. (2012). Sexual harassment and sexual harassment policy in Jamaica: the absence of a national sexual harassment policy, and the way forward. Asian J of Business Management, 4(1):1 8 Peters, R., & Bourne, P.A. (2012). Jamaica is without a national sexual harassment policy: Challenges, consequences health problems and the need for a national policy framework. Asian J of Business Management, 4(1):20. 9 Bourne, PA., Beckford OW., Duncan, NC. (2010). Generalized Trust in an English-Speaking Caribbean Nation. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences 2(1): 24 15
  • 16. marginalization in the Jamaican society, this is farthest from the reality. Miller 10 postulated that the male kind is marginalized by examining their low participation, under achievement and class attendance in schools. There is some argument that the Caribbean male is underperforming academically compared to their female counterparts; but the reality is, female are seeking equal pay for the same work performed by the males. How can females trust the system and the literature on male marginalization, when wealth is substantially in the hands of males, income is skewed towards males and females have and continue to struggle for equal pay for the same work performed by their male counterparts? There is another side to the Male Marginalization Theory, but must lacking in the literature is the social exclusion of women in many professions and occupations, particularly teaching in the early periods. In contemporary Jamaica, the number of females in professionals like teaching, construction, law, politics, security and protection have in the last decade, with women now dominating teaching. Many of the aforementioned professionals were male dominated and women were excluded there from. This exclusion is a social exclusion as it was determined by the society, the males in authority. Females were not marginalized from many professional in the past, they were social excluded and this is less so the case in contemporary Jamaica. For years, the teaching professional was a male dominated one, which can only be explained by social exclusion of females. Hence, this study is best explained by Social Exclusion Theory which is the conceptual framework for this work. There can be no denial that social exclusion must birth an air of distrust, which explains the conflicts in the society, the lack of cooperation among people and accounts for the social decay. 10 Errol Miller, Marginalization of the Black male (Kingston:Canoe Press, 1994), 40 16
  • 17. It appears that the patriarchal society in which women reside in Jamaica is so extensive that even male scholars have opined that male are marginalized 11,12,13 and/or at risk14,15 Those scholars have missed the societal privileges given to male, the gender inequalities in the society and the societal expectation of the male compared to female. The gendered wealth and gendered income distribution in Jamaica do not support male marginalization. In fact, males have more privilege than females as it relates to wealth accumulation as well as high income opportunities than females, which contravenes the argument of overall male marginalization16. In the 2004, statistics 17 revealed that on average the earning for males $2.4 million which was 2 times more than that of females ($ 1.7 million) and that 76 per cent of senior positions were held by males although 54 per cent of executive and managerial positions were held by females. How can one ascribed male marginalization in Jamaica, when they receive more of the income, wealthier than females and hold of the top position in the society. Both Miller and Chevannes theorizing on male marginalized is flawed, which evident by the statistics and arguments forwarded by Christine Borrows. Outside of Jamaica, using survey 11 Figueroa, Mark. (2004). "Male Privileging and Male "Academic Underperformance" in Jamaica". In Rhonda Reddock (Ed.), Interrogating Caribbean Masculinities: Theoretical and Empirical Analyses. Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, p137. 12 Miller, Errol. (1986). Marginalization of the Black Male. Kingston: Kingston Publishers. 13 Chevannes, Barry. (2001). Learning to be a man: Culture, socialization and gender identity in five Caribbean communities. Kingston, Jamaica: The Univer. of the West Indies Press; 2001, p.20 14 Miller, Errol. (1991). Men at Risk. Kingston. Kingston: Jamaica Publishing House, p.40. 15 Miller, Errol. 1991. Men at Risk. Kingston. Kingston: Jamaica Publishing House. 16 Barrow, Christine. (1998). "Caribbean Gender Ideologies: Introduction and Overview". In Christine Barrow (Ed.), Caribbean Portraits: essays on Gender Ideologies and Identities. Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers, p.xxxvii 17 Planning Institute of Jamaica, (PIOJ). Economic and Social Survey, 1990-2007. Kingston: PIOJ; 1990-2007, chap. 21.9. 17
  • 18. data for 1988 to 1999 from Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica, the researchers found that there is no general trend of economic marginalization of males in those societies 18, which is equally the case in Jamaica. There is a view that women have made significant stride in contemporary Jamaica, and that they now share the same corridor of power like their female counterparts. Jamaica has had nine prime ministers of which only one is a female and there are more males in politics and the legislators; yet some argued about male marginalization or equality of power with the genders. Statistics from the Planning Institute of Jamaica shows that there is a disparity in favour of men in senior positions and there is also a gender bias in the halls of politics; yet some argue about male marginalization. Instead, it appears that there is social exclusion of females than male marginalization in Jamaica. A society imposes limits on human desires and constitutes a regulative force which must play the same role for moral needs which the organism plays for physical needs" 19. The societies that are well regulated have social controls which set limits on individual propensities so that “each in his sphere vaguely realizes the extreme limits on individual propensities, so that each in his sphere vaguely realizes the extreme limits set to his ambitions and aspires to nothing beyond”20. This explains how those with social, economic and political power can exclude a group or people from any mainstream activities in a society, social exclusion. 18 Arias, Omar. Are Men Benefiting from the New Economy? Male Economic Marginalization in Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica (December 18, 2001). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2740. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=634452. 19 Coser, Lewis A. (1982). Sociological Theory: A Book of Readings 5 th edition. Macmillan Publishing Co., p. 110. 20 Coser, Lewis A. (1977). Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context 2 nd edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanvich, Inc., p.51. 18
  • 19. Simply put, if people are not given or offered the same opportunities in a society, there is what is known social exclusion.21 Social exclusion is about more than income poverty. It is a short-hand for what happen when people or areas face a combination of linked problems, such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime and family breakdown. These problems are linked and mutually reinforcing (SEU, 2004) The Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) forwards how social exclusions are manifested in a society and that these can be institutionalized by the socio-economic and political elites. Poverty, unemployment, educational barriers, racism, income inequality, poor housing, lack of social amenities and opportunities are all indicators of social exclusions. In those instances, people are not provides with the same opportunities which was termed by Roemer as Inequality Opportunities22. Like Roemer, Sugden23 opined that by not provide equality opportunities to people, they cannot receive the economic rewards of the market which accounts for low socioeconomic opportunities in the future. It can be deduced from Sugden and SEU argument that social exclusion can be institutionalized and destroys current and future opportunities of people. Simply put, social exclusion could span many generations and this was highlighted by Hobcraft24 in an article entitled ‘Social exclusion and the generations’. This speaks to the mutually reinforcing nature of social exclusion in a society and explains how people can be made in be trapped in persistent poverty, unemployment, and be made to stay on the outskirts of mainstream society. 21 Roemer, J. (1998). Equality of Opportunity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, p.90. 22 Ibid90 23 Sugden, R. (2004). Living with unfairness: The limits of equal opportunity in a market economy. Social Choice and Welfare, 22:211 24 Hobcraft, J. (2002). “Social exclusion and the generations”. pp. 132 in Hills, Le Grand and Piachaud (Eds.). 19
  • 20. According to Silver (1995 in Sen, 2000) A livelihood; secure, permanent employment; earnings; property, credit, or land; housing; minimal or prevailing consumption levels; education, skills, and cultural capital; the welfare state; citizenship and legal equality; democratic participation; public goods; the nation or the dominant race; family and sociability; humanity, respect, fulfillment and understanding.25,26 Silver went further than other scholars that have examine social exclusion to include, citizenship, humanity, respect, fulfillment, understanding, legal equality, political participation, democracy, and cultural capital. It can be deduced from Silver’s theorizing that social exclusion is created by the social and political elites over others and by this doing others are sidelined and marginalized thereby. Indeed social exclusion retards human’s creativity, futuristic development and potential, and polarized some people. Hence, crime and other social problems are but an expression of social exclusion and the retaliatory stance taken by the excluded people. Social exclusion, therefore, creates social division in a society, among people and institution and fosters deep divide. Prior the 1980s, issues like poverty, inequality, racism, segregation, unemployment, poor social conditions, minimal consumption, educational segregation and low skills level, and cultural capital were termed social division. Then in the mid-1980s social exclusion was coined to address social divisions in society including social inclusion and cohesion, which have been employed by the European Commission to formulate social policy27, 28 In the early centuries, one of the social exclusions was education and training for women. According to Paudyal29 “Discrimination was also based on social relation” and they 25 Silver (1995), p. 60. 26 Sen, Amartya. (2000), p. 1 Room, 1992, p. 27 28 29 Rodger, Gore & Figueiredo (1995), p. 34 Paudyal (2012), p. ii 20
  • 21. had to “…sacrificed personally and negotiated with husband and family members for academic upgrading by handling households’ and professional roles together 30, which obtains in Nepal. There was a clear case of division of labour between the genders, and women were called upon to sacrifice social relations and other things for a career in education. Stopler 31 opined that the division of labour epitomizes discrimination and a masculinity of public spaces like education, politics and state relations, which was also forwarded by Lockheed 32 in a publication entitled ‘Gender and Social Exclusion’. Lockheed opined that over 70 per cent of girls in developing nations do not attend school, which is a social exclusion compared to other girls in the same societies. In fact, the girls are poor, and dwell in rural zones. Such a reality restricts their current and future economic opportunities which are a clear case of discrimination against these girls, and is rightfully described as social exclusion.33 Another definition of social exclusion is fitting at this point as it aptly summarizes the concept. According to Peace34 in Northern Ireland, Social exclusion is a set of processes, including within the labour market and the welfare system, by which individuals, households, communities or even whole social groups are pushed towards or kept to the margins of society. It encompasses not only material deprivation but also more broadly the denial of opportunities to participate fully in social and civil life. Social exclusion, therefore, is an orchestrated effort of the social elites to institute processes that will result in marginalizing a group. Whether we examine Peace’s conceptualization of social exclusion of others, there is a consensus among the definitions that it discriminates, marginalizes, segregates, isolates, deprives and retards future opportunities of the group. By excluding women from education, income opportunities and other wealth in a 30 31 Ibidii Stopler (2004), p. 46 32 Lockheed, M. (2010), p. 1 33 Lewis and Lockheed (2007), p. 1 34 Peace, R. (2001), p. 26 21
  • 22. society; this increases the likelihood of its continuation and further marginalized of the excluded group. Social exclusion is not necessarily based on educational; it may be as a result of other social issues, political and economic matters.35 There is a preponderance of evidence that income inequality, gender biased opportunities, poverty, low attendance at school and crime in particularly area as well as social deprivation and lack of social amentias are a part of the expression of social exclusion. These social exclusions are the creation of the socio-political elites. To retard, restrict or hamper people from opportunities including educational attainment based on gender, religious, ethnicity, and any other socio-demographic characteristics are indicators of social exclusion. Hence, the restriction of women from the educational system in Jamaica is an example of social exclusion, and therefore the Social Exclusion Theory best explains what has been transpiring in the educational system and the wider society in Jamaica since the early nineteenth hundreds. Table 1: Number of Murders and violent crime, 1970-2010 Year Murder Violent crime Year 1970 152 1990 1971 145 1991 1972 170 1992 1973 227 1993 1974 195 1994 1975 266 1995 1976 367 1996 1977 409 15893 1997 1978 381 16640 1998 1979 351 1999 1980 889 24201 2000 1981 490 2001 1982 405 19867 2002 1983 424 2003 1984 484 21186 2004 35 Murder 542 561 629 653 690 780 925 1037 953 849 887 1191 1045 975 1471 Violent crime 20698 18522 20173 21275 22403 23083 24617 22053 19781 17056 16469 14929 14047 13611 15306 Rodgers et al. 1995) 22
  • 23. 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 449 442 414 439 2005 19228 2006 2007 19456 2008 19886 2009 2010 Sources: Planning Institute of Jamaica, 1969-2011. 1674 1340 1574 1601 1680 1428 14920 13136 14219 11432 11939 11062 23
  • 24. Conclusion At the very beginning of this paper we proposed that the high incidence of crime and violence in Jamaican inner city communities was as a result of poverty, unemployment, low educational attainment, lack of social mobility and social inequality. The weight of the argument collected above compels me to end on the same note. The statistical and empirical evidence provided in the body of this research assures that this conclusion is neither a fib nor is it a mere assumption. As stated by Bernard Headley (1994) this position should find support among many a reader willing to take into account not only the long haul of history as a determinant of human behavior but also the existential reality of social blight which gives rhythm and reason for the phenomenon of young Jamaican men opting for a life of crime as the appropriate mode of conduct into manhood. Over the years many persons have disputed over the causes of the high rate of crime and violence in the inner city communities. The basic and most widespread opinion amongst the Jamaican populace is that “d man dem jus nuh ave nuh hart, dem born wicked”. We must admit that after reading or hearing something like “five shot dead in sleep” or “baby killed as a warning to father”. However after perusing the many articles, journals, books, statistics and columns on the causes of crime in Jamaica, we are compelled to conclude that the motivation towards crime and violence is much more than an innate wickedness. Headley makes important point- babies do not come into this world with high powered rifles ready to eradicate half of civilization. Dancehall artist Moses “Beenie Man” Davis provides that it is the circumstances that make them who they are. It becomes clear that a resort to violence readily presents itself as one of the strategies of survival open to the dispossessed, powerless, culturally denigrated and 24
  • 25. socially excluded. As crude as it may sound- unfortunate is the person or persons that stand between the gunman and his objective. To further my conclusion, crime is inevitably high in societies that either withhold or deny prized possessions from a significant number of their citizens. This is evidently the situation in the Jamaican society. The fact is that the poverty of the already poor has expanded during the 40 years since the former Prime Minister Edward Seaga spoke of the gap between the rich and the poor in his classic have and have- nots dissertation. It is well established that in countries where there is perverse poverty, high unemployment levels, severe inequalities and minimal education, there is or will eventually be high levels of crime and violence- Jamaica is no exception. If this has been a long time correlation, as it obviously is, we are then forced to ask ourselves “Why has there continued to be so much deprivation and hence more crime in Jamaican ghettos?” If substandard housing and inadequate facilities has always been a visible feature of the ghetto, “why had the government or capable institutions not done something to stem the problem before it started reeking havoc and transforming the society into what it is today?” Is it because they were comfortable in it being a “ghetto ting”? We must realize that the acknowledgement is the first part of a solution. Today while the vast majority of crimes still occur in improvished areas, the violence is not confined. It is not just in Tivoli, Rema, Payne Land or Jungle that “man a dead”. Tanya Stephens states that even the richest men have to take a stance when they realize that they are no longer safe in their mansions. The challenge we then raise to the Jamaican government is to restore hope in the disadvantaged. The task seems futile, even more in regards to the inner city male youth, because what can you offer them that they cannot or is not already gaining from their day to day street hustling. Recall hustling includes selling a little “weed” (marijuana) or “coke” (cocaine), hire for kill and robbery. 25
  • 26. On a final note, crime and violence is a very serious problem in Jamaica. We would like to see this changed. However when there continues to be a limited number of expedient options for escape from a life of joblessness, poverty and wretchedness, the people who are so affected must take the most practical (yes practical) route available to them and sadly this route, after the troubles and trial of migration and clientilism, is crime. To quote the renowned C.L.R. James “We were not able to choose the mess we have to live in- the collapse of a society- but we can choose our way out”. Headley’s quotation aptly befits the retardation of social choices and how these relate to the some of the wider social ills in a society: Only when all of us who make up the Jamaica society have attempted to restore a sense of civility to national life, to really look out for each other in a renewed communitarian spirit, can we hope to have a nation without crime 26
  • 27. Conceptualizations Crime and Violence - According to the Oxford English Dictionary (2002) crime is an action against the law. Haralambos and Holborn (2000) view crime as those actions that break the law of the land and are subjected to official punishment while violence is defined as any physical force intended to cause injury or destruction to person or property. Inner cities or Ghettos - The Queen’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus defines a ghetto as a section of a city in which members of the minority group lives especially because of social, legal, and economic pressure. The National Task Force on Crime and Violence (1991) characterizes a typical inner city community as having poor housing, high density per room, poor sanitation, numerous environmental hazards, regular and illegal connections of Light and Water. In these cities there tend to be high levels of unemployment. Poverty – The New International Dictionary of Sociology (2000) portrays poverty as simply a state of want. However, Haralambos and Holborn see a number of dimensions when defining poverty. Generally they see it as an undesirable state. However they hold the view that poverty is not only material deprivation but sees inadequate educational opportunities, powerlessness and unemployment as aspects of being poor for some people. Unemployment- the Queen’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus postulates that unemployment is simply not having a job. Researches published in Haralambos and Holborn’s, Sociology Themes and Perspectives states that unemployment is indeed not having a job that would provide the money necessary to purchase the thing essential ensure one’s survival. Educational Attainment - Haralambos and Holborn views educational attainment as a level of accomplishment of knowledge and learning of skill. The Queens English Dictionary defines it as the process of accomplishing some level of learning and training. 27
  • 28. Social mobility – The National Task Force on Crime and Violence defines social mobility as a movement from one stratum to another. Social Inequalities – The Dictionary of Sociology defines social inequality as state of being unequal in the respect that some members of a society may not have the same social control or authority as others. 28
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