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Case Study Of Sanjay's Criminal Behavior

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This essay will consider how socio-cultural factors may have affected a case study’s (Sanjay) criminal behavior. It will critically discuss the impact of gender, race, age and class, and the implication these have for any treatment Sanjay may receive. The discussion will also briefly consider intersectionality, which argues that these factors do not work in isolation but instead interact with each other to influence a person’s outcomes.

One influence on Sanjay (The Open University, 2017a) is his gender. Evidence demonstrates a strong link between gender and criminality, with males accounting for 85% of arrests, 75% of criminal sentences and 95% of prison occupants (Ministry of Justice, 2014, cited in Callaghan and Alexander, 2017). One account
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The concept of unconscious bias could have implications for Sanjay’s treatment; this is the idea that people hold judgements about others, without conscious awareness of it, which could influence the way professionals view and treat Sanjay. Sewell (2017) suggest that the relationship between the client and therapist is important for delivering the best outcomes from treatment, however, these prejudices could present barriers to a relationship. Stereotypes about Sanjay’s ethnicity may also affect the type of treatment he receives; Eleftheriadou (2010, cited in Sewell, 2017) suggest that service providers sometimes hold the stereotype that counselling is not appropriate for black people, demonstrating how stereotypes about ethnicity may impact on the type of treatment…show more content…
For example, Merton’s (1968, cited in Holman, 2017) theory of structural strain suggests that criminal behaviour occurs when there is limited opportunity for advancement in structures such as employment. This theory suggests that people would turn to other means, such as drug dealing, to gain advancement; one of Sanjay’s offences involved an armed robbery which would support this theory, alongside his admittance of handling stolen goods in order to get by. Conversely, there is limited research to support this theory and it has been argued that this theory estimates more lower class criminality than there actually is. Furthermore, research shows that Sanjay’s class may have had an influence on his legal outcomes, with some arguing that lower classes are over-represented in prisons (Holman, 2017). Although those of a lower-class do commit a proportion of crimes, questions have been raised over the inequalities between lower-class and middle-class crimes, considering why the crimes of the privileged are much less criminalised than those less privileged. Reiman (2001, cited in Holman, 2017) argues that this is caused by filtering during legal procedures, influenced by social processes, such as how people are perceived by society, with the privileged having a significant advantage. Additionally, coming from a lower
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