social deprivation causes crime

Essay by anandarupaHigh School, 11th grade November 2014

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Social deprivation is the reduction or prevention of culturally normal interaction between an individual and the rest of society. This social deprivation is included in a broad network of correlated factors that contribute to social exclusion; these factors include mental illness, poverty, poor education, and low socioeconomic status.

Since the advent of modern social science, sociologists and criminologists have been preoccupied with finding the answer to what is the root cause of criminal (or deviant) behaviour and, therefore, what are the best ways to prevent it. Many theories have been put forward on the subject. Some of them have since been completely discredited - like Lombroso's theory that you can determine a person's propensity toward criminal behaviour by measuring certain physiological traits such as head size. But much of the focus and research into the causes of crime has centred around the impact of social deprivation or poverty on those who commit it.

Poverty is a huge problem worldwide, the US census in 2010 recorded that 15.1% of people in the US live in poverty, and for those aged under 18's the rate was even higher at 22%.[1] While the numbers in absolute poverty have been dropping there were still 1.4billion people on less than $1.25 per day as of 2005.[2] Oxfam records that 1 in 5 in the UK live below the poverty line, and this is mostly children, pensioners or disabled people.[3] The interest in poverty in relation to crime stems mainly from the factual reality that there is a significant, proven correlation between the two. However, in this debate the proposition needs to show there is more than just a correlation, but that a major cause of crime lies in social deprivation. Also, 'crime' needs to be defined carefully, as it is a...