Left Realism

Lea and Young argue that ethnic differences in the statistics reflect real differences in the levels of offending. They see crime as the product of relative deprivation, subcultures and marginalisation. Racism has led to the marginalisation and economic exclusion of EM. Media emphasis on consumerism also promotes relative deprivation by setting materialistic goas that many members of the minority groups cannot reach by legitimate means because of discrimination.

Lea and Young recognise that racist policing often leads to the unjustified criminalisation of some members of minority groups. However, even if the police do act in racist ways, Lea and Young argue that this is unlikely to account for the Ethnic differences in the statistics. Similarly, police racism cannot explain the much higher conviction rate of blacks than of Asians; they would have to be selectively racist against blacks but not Asians to cause these differences.

Lea and Young thus conclude that:

  1. The statistics represent real life differences in offending between ethnic groups
  2. These are caused by differences in levels of relative deprivation and marginalisation.