THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND CRIME
Decades of research have always discussed the link between socioeconomic status and crime. It has also been established by studies that crime caused by poverty is one of the oldest theories of crime causation (Aaltonen, Kivivuori, & Martikainen, 2011).
- The social problem
Some neighborhoods can be good places to live in. However, there are also places that are not. For example, Karriker-Jaffe (2011) mentioned that areas with no socioeconomic status (SES) have very low development in its social structures such as education, housing, employment, and social behavior. These inequalities in social socio-economic environment has been known to reflect a wide range of social problems related to social behavior, coping resources, and other psychological mechanisms. Aside from these issues, low SES environments have been known to be strongly linked to crime.
This paper aims to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic status and crime.
- Research questions
- Factors that influence crime
- Significant effects
- Crime as a social problem
- The relationship between socioeconomic status and crime
- Crime across the socioeconomic ladder
- Crime rate across socioeconomic status
- Type of crime across socioeconomic status
- The victims
- Does poverty influence crime?
According to Vieno, Roccato, and Russo (2013) empirical data has shown that the occurrence of crime is associated with residents’ fear of crime. Moreover, it was also established that residents’ fear of crime is also associated with low social capital, social disorganizations, and low socio-economic status. This suggests that fear of crime is more common among poor neighborhoods than somewhere else. Supporting studies have stated that this is also because crime rate is higher in poor areas.
- Research gap
- Need for a study
Although studies have determined that socioeconomic status has a significant relationship with crime, the strength and nature of the relationship has been continuously challenged. Thus, a need to study this relationship arises, in order to add to the current state of knowledge on the link between socioeconomic status and crime.
- Research hypotheses
Data and Methods
- Methodological approach
The quantitative research methodology will be used. Survey will be the primary research method.
- Sources of data
Primary sources of data will be taken from respondents and police records across socioeconomic environments. While supplemental data will be taken from academic journals and publications.
- Sample size
Prospected sample size consists of 30 individuals from each socio-economic bracket.
A survey measuring knowledge of recent crimes and fear of crime will be given to respondents across socioeconomic environments. Permission to gain access on police records across environments will also be secured.
- Method of analysis
Statistical analysis will be used in order to analyze if there is a significant difference in knowledge of recent crimes and fear of crime among the respondents across socioeconomic environments. Descriptive statistics will be used to compare crime rates across environments using police records.
- Methodological Limitations
- Discussion of findings
This section discusses the theory of focus in the paper which is functionalism. The theory will be discussed in contrast to social conflict and symbolic interactionism.
- Theoretical framework
Aaltonen, M., Kivivuori, J., & Martikainen, P. (2011). Social determinants of crime in a welfare state: Do they still matter? Acta Sociologia, 54(2), 161-181.
Goodman, J. (2012). Crime and socioeconomic conditions: Evidence for non-cultural domain specificity in evolutionary forensic psychology. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, 523-526.
Karriker_Jaffe, K. J. (2011). Areas of disadvantage: A systematic review of effects of area-level socioeconomic status on substance use outcomes. Drug and Alcohol Review, 30, 84-95.
Shulman, E. P., Steinberg, L. D., & Piquero, A. R. (2013). The age-crime curve in adolescence and early adulthood is not due to age differences in economic status. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 848-860.
Vieno, A., Roccato, M., & Russo, S. (2013). Is fear of crime mainly social and economic insecurity in disguise? A multilevel multinational analysis. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 23, 519-535.