Focusing on at least one of the topics covered in this module, and select no more than three topics, examine the relationship between crime and culture in contemporary British society. This essay is going to focus on the topics of media and crime and crimes of the powerful.

In contemporary British society there is a clear relationship between crime and culture. Media can influence the way crime is presented in every society. Sometimes media overreact on the events, cover the topic partially or even do not bring stories into light depended on the level of their benefit. Especially, when crime is related to powerful people, that can easily bribe the media, their stories often do not appear in the news as they actually occurred. In this essay, the relationship between media, crime and powerful people in the contemporary British society is going to be examined.

The British Contemporary society can be described by the growing individual interconnection that is taking place in the social, political, legal and cultural impact in Britain, by strong affairs.

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Today’s British society has been altered a lot comparing with previous centuries. Nowadays, British people are more cosmopolitan and they have spread all over the world. However, in big capital cities just London, someone can meet a mixture of cultures and societies, which is mostly consisted by working immigrants. The immigration of people from different places of different cultures contributed to the fading of contemporary British society. Resulting, it leads to the diversion of British society as the culture for instance in London is changing.

On the other hand, the different cultures are connected also with different types and reasons of crime. For instance, in the UK a new hypothesis of cultural version is developed, which leads to political and strategical changes that recently occurred. As a result, these changes occurred at the point of social constructions and cultural awareness. Therefore, the description of culture high crime societies comes from the historical background of the above changes. For example, drinking a lot is a culture that expresses UK and consequently, leads to many crimes that have to do with over use of alcohol.

However, crime as is defined in a classic sociological theory, wants individuals not to follow rules and set of laws, thus it is consisted as morally wrong in the society. Moreover, some people claim that crime is also the practice of law in some violent way that the original one. In fact, crime’s main reason is not to bring destruction in the legal regulations, but to bring balance in the contemporary societies. Nevertheless, by this case, we can observe the difference between criminal behaviour and anti-social behaviour. On the other hand, crime is considered to be interesting by many sociologists, as from their point of view it is an essential public problem. Crime also involves a loss for many different groups of people. For example, in a murder crime there is always a loss for the victim’s family and the criminal’s family. By examining more detailed through social sciences, someone can find that the study of crime and culture entails the most important issues that have to do with today’s society. (Sykes, 1965)

Above and beyond, there are many different varieties of crime and criminals in modern societies that stand out a huge range of behaviours. From the serious and dangerous crimes, to the little and inconsequential ones, crimes have common characteristics. Serious crimes such as murders are quite rear. On the contrary, smaller crimes like burglars, shoplifting, and violence are more ordinary.

Crime consists one of the biggest radical things in today’s society, as for centuries is still continuing with a big variety of uncaught criminals. Moreover, most of the crimes that are committed everyday have to do with the Mass media and television which ‘control’ our lives for more than a century. Furthermore, reality shows and series have a negative impact to society, as they show violent and crime material. By the term of media and crime, it is meant the effect that the media has into societies and how it leads to crime activities. Also, media has the power to misinform people although; sometimes news and television update the public but not always in the best way. (Jewkes, 2011)

The way that media shows crime generally, is the way that the public wants to. The audience has the need to hear from the media about murders, serial killers, scandals and serious crime events that take place. That is how the world of the Mass media works today, otherwise people would not buy newspapers and watch the news. Also, without the participation of the media, we would not be able to learn every minute what is happening on a worldwide basis. People nowadays are obsessed with crime and deviance and media knows how to feed them daily. Furthermore, mass communications have an impact on the contemporary British society. It is known that the effects are mostly negative as the media causes anti-social and criminal behaviour to the society. For the explanation of this phenomenon, there are two major theories that can enhance understanding. (Jewkes, 2011)

First, the Mass society theory that was concluded after the Second World War and that was set up as a sociological theory. This theory talks and analyses more about uneducated people in the old type of societies who have not been taught about principled values and they are considered as ‘common people’. The other motive that is analysed about the effects of media to the public is called Behaviourism and positivism theory. This theory has to do with media forms that have been influenced by behaviourism, which is shaped by economic constitution and historical knowledge. (Jewkes, 2011)

Criminology Professor David Friedrichs mentions that “Most of us are likely to be affected more by white collar crime than by any other type of criminal activity,” (Richa, 2000) This actually proves that physical crime such as murder, kidnapping and usurpation is not only the way of committing crime. In theory, every individual in the society has the same rights and freedoms. However, this doesn’t mean that they have the same power. Nowadays, what makes people to earn respect is depending on their title, position or connections that they have. Every individual has the same rights and laws work equally for everyone; however, sometimes it doesn’t allow everyone to be able to do the same things. Practically every people are judged differently and people without any power or money may not be. This brings out the problem where powerful and rich people see themselves above other people and believe that they are free to do whatever they want with low or none consequences. Consequently, thus then creates classification and hierarchical structure to occur within the society, where some people are considered to deserve more rights and freedom according to their position.

Allowing the ‘powerful’ to live and act without borders creates inequality in the society. To this extent, accessibility of sources is limited with only the ‘powerful’ minority in the society. Since rest of the society, doesn’t have enough power, things can be covered or hidden by powerful very easily. Deficiency of the application of laws and power of highly positioned and rich people in the society makes this minority to act in their own benefits without society’s realization. Hierarchical structure and classification in the society decrease the awareness of majority, because they can’t reach any information about the powerful. This creates problems in the judgement process, which results inequality between classes and individuals. However, this is not only done by ‘powerful’ individuals. Crime of the powerful can be committed by large companies, institutions and even by governments in many cases. Governments are responsible to create equality and increase the welfare level in the society regardless of individual’s title, position or connections. With this feature, governments should be one of the most trustable powers in the society. However, in some cases it is being seen that even governments can use the power that they have in their personal benefits and hide this from the society.

For example, in 2009 British Newspaper Daily Mirror announced that a basic salary for a British Parliament Member is around £63,000. However in 2007, MP’s announced their expenses around £135,600 which is twice as much as their annual salary. Daily Mirror mentioned that for a MP to have this amount of additional expense, they should earn a salary around £319,615. (The Trumpet, 2009) This shows that many MP has used taxes paid by citizens of UK in order to meet their own needs and gain benefits. Crime can be defined narrowly as a violation of law or more broadly as an act that harms. (Richa, 2000). So in this case, it can be said that government members committed a crime against the society. This scandal caused loss of confidence against politicians in the British society and it resulted large amount of resignations, sackings, de-selections and retirement announcements by parliament members, together with public apologies and the repayment of expenses.

Concluding, crime nowadays has experienced an increase in British society. This might be due to differences in the cultural mixture of Britain. Media played a crucial role for this increase in crime due to reasons referred in this essay. Finally, through the use of media, many role models of children and people that consist the British society, have declined and lead to great disappointments.

Bibliography

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Jewkes, Y., 2011. Media and crime. 2nd ed. London, Sage.

Karstedt, S., 2001, Crime, Law and Social Change, [e-book]. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Available at:< http://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/lsr32/articles/pdf400-5/comparing-cultures-criminology.pdf>, [Accessed on 20 March 2012]

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Rawlings, P., 1999. Crime and Power, A history of criminal justice 1688-1988.Addison Wesley Longman Limited.

Richa, 2009. Crimes of the Powerful. [online]. Available at: <http://richa.dod.net/crime/thepowerful.htm>, [Accessed 20 March 2012]

Sykes, G. M’C., 1965. Crime and society. Princeton University, New York.

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