Research from the ancient years has shown an incredible increase in the levels of incarceration in the United States. It is proposed that the increase amounts to 44 percent. The increase in the incarceration rates is said to have exceeded the levels of crime. The incarceration rates have always been high in Canada as compared to the US. However, the rate was found to be constant especially in 1994 to 1996.
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Some researchers have verified that the high detention of prisoners has relatively led to a reduction in the rates of crime. The impact of race, class or income inequality, as well as gender issues have been said to have an influence on the detention of individuals in jail.
The effects of these stratifications have been supported by various theories explained by different researchers. Most of these theories explain the increase in the rates of imprisonment as result of the increase in the levels of crime. The theories refer to many countries including the United States. Basing on the given assertions, the paper seeks to examine the social and economic dissimilarities in the American society.
This focuses on the class, gender as well as race among the Americans in terms of incarceration. These are issues explained in a sociological perspective. This paper therefore seeks to explain the similarities, differences and directions being taken in the future regarding to the impacts of race, class and gender to the incarceration rates between the USA and Canada basing on the existing historical information and other competing sociological theories.
According to the functionalist perspective, inequality has a general significant to the entire society. The assurance of higher payments acts as sources of motivation for individuals to be able to face risks, attain even difficult goals and challenge the existing ideas through exploration and innovation.
However, the functionalist mention on differences in ethnicities as contributors to incarceration in the United States. This is because ethnicity differences increase the consensus and cause a lot of conflicts and disagreements. The conflicts will result in fights thus increase in the crime activities which later leads to the increase in the levels of incarceration (Bornstein, 32).
Considering the (Intelligence Quotient) IQ theory in the United States of America, the IQ is the major base of argument. The difference in the rates of crime among individuals belonging to different races is as a result of the difference in the Intelligence Quotient between the races. This is supported by the data from (Barker, 24).
In this book, it is proved that in spite of the race, individuals who have their intelligence quotient between seventy and ninety have higher crime rates as compared to individuals who have their IQs either below or above this range. It should be noted that the peak range of IQ’s among people ranges from eighty to ninety. To support this claim, the IQs for individuals originating from different races are given; the African Americans have 85, the white Americans have 100 while the Asian Americans have 106.
The comparison of crime rates on the basis of races is to a great extent referred to the intelligent quotient. The increase in the rates of crime significantly leads to an increase in the number of individuals being detained in jail as a way of punishment for the crimes committed.
Racism on the basis of the ranges of IQs can be said to be one of the greatest exposure of individuals towards antisocial behaviors. However, the gap in the IQ between White Americans and African Americans is said to have reduced over the ancient years. Therefore, the differences in the IQ may not exist only if the environmental factors are put into consideration. The intelligence quotient basing on racial differences thus has an effect on the levels of incarceration in the United States (Provine, 15).
The critical race theory argues about racism being highly manifested in the officially permitted system as well as in the various performs of law in the American government. This theory was developed as a race reform practice. Despite of the various reforms that had been established, the racism practices were still legally practiced. These activities led to an increase in disparity of the incarceration rates.
The critical race theory points out that within the legal system of governance, a lot of African American men offenders were detained as opposed to the white men offender counterparts who were very few. This was done because the American African men were dominant in the American society. They were also feared by all the other persons in the American society thus being highly detained as compared to any other group in the United States of America (Gottschalk, 21).
According to the social perception of incarceration, the race and income inequality have impacts indirectly on the levels of punishment or rather incarceration. This perception is supported by the Durkheimian theory. This theory usually bases on the supposition that racial favoritism lowers the chances of an individual to access his rights.
These rights are channeled towards economic opportunities. Such activities enhance violence as well as criminal activities. These activities lead to the imprisonment of the concerned person. Considering the conflict theory, the financial inequalities and racial favoritism have not only direct but also indirect impacts on incarceration. These two variables tend to have a significant impact on incarceration when regulating the rates of crime.
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The final impact is accredited to the economy and policies of the country. The nation emerges to be the most powerful and thus perceived to be a threat by other racially different groups of people. This is thus referred to as the cultural conflict theory. This theory on incarceration is a contrast to the Durkheimian theory.
Basing on the economic perspective of incarceration, the huge amounts of individuals who are languishing in poverty in the United States of America are attributable to the higher levels of incarceration in the country.
Similarly, basing on the cultural theory, United States persons are full of individualism in the view of judgments and policies. This results in the formation of more disciplinary norms that are responsible for our higher rates of incarceration. I will therefore clarify our individualistic cultural practices permits for the high levels of poverty which later results to the increase n the levels of incarceration.
This is explained on the basis of gender differences. The permit to allow women to take part in only home chores by our culture makes them susceptible to poverty. Women taking fewer jobs in the United States as a result of marriage and pregnancy always get paid less. The belief in our culture that men are the ones to engage in more dangerous occupations while working brings about the gender wage gap.
Women are thus more likely to be poor in the United States as compared to men. Our culture explains men as being superior to women. This allowance is attributable to the increase in the levels of domestic violence. Domestic violence is viewed by the law as a criminal activity. The increase in the rates of domestic violence causes a corresponding increase in the rates of incarceration in the United States.
Still on the cultural theory, the individualistic norms that are set in the United States are attributable to the increase in the rate of incarceration. The culture here plays a major responsibility in promotion of inequality among individuals on the basis of discrimination.
This is based in the fact that individuals from a certain separate ethnic or racial minority are denied access to certain jobs. As a result, only the minority groups of individuals are expected to be poor. For instance, individuals who were black Americans were denied access to certain jobs which were later given to the white Americans.
The hopelessness and poverty among this group of individuals prompts them to engage in some other activities of expelling poverty which are related to crime. The criminal activities lead to the increase in the levels of incarceration. In addition to this, the unequal methods of awarding jobs as well as unequal payment of workers increases violence related activities. This leads to imprisonment of innocent individuals who are trying claim for their rights. All these are as a result of inequality brought about on cultural basis.
The rates of incarceration are said to be higher in the United States as compared to Canada. From a cross-sectional research within a period of one year, a positive relationship was discovered between the crime rates and the incarceration rates. Thus the increase in the crime rates leads to a corresponding increase in the rates of imprisonment. The United States of America was discovered to be experiencing more serious crimes that land individuals into incarceration.
The serious crimes include violent crimes and homicides. A distinguishing factor in Canada from the United States is that in this country, the criminal law which is the same across the country is administered on the basis of provinces. The incarceration and reporting schemes in this country are comparatively alike. This has a significant effect to imprisonment. The evaluation of incarceration in Canada is thus perfect and clear as compared to that performed in the United States.
Incarceration has a negative impact on the future employment of the concerned individual in the United States. This is because most individuals who move out of jail never want to be considered in any given job. In various companies, individuals who are released from jail are never allowed to retain their former jobs.
In addition to this, the detention of individuals in jail reduces the working force. This is especially affecting the United States of America. This is because a larger number of America’s population has been imprisoned. This does not affect individuals from Canada. This is because Canada’s population has a higher number of youths.
Generally, the conflict theory which explains the incarceration rate on the basis of racial description encompasses many theories. Crime is explained as an unavoidable outcome of a conflict that may emerge between to groups of individuals within a society.
These two groups of individuals may be in competition on the basis of financial class, religious conviction differences, economic status, racial and ethnicity indifferences. The crimes can be evaded immediately the structure of a particular group of individuals is changed.
According to the Marxism criminology, the issue of capital differences is emphasized as the major cause of crimes. Basically, social class is usually brought about by the financial status. In this theory, crimes are explained on the economic basis. Basing on the perspective of incarceration economically, individuals within the society who lack certain goods have a mentality of snatching from others.
These results into activities related to crime thus most individuals are detained in jail. In this theory, the aspect of social conflict is emphasized where in the presence of stiff competition for goods within the society among individuals, equality is always strived to be achieved. This leads to an increase in the criminal activities thus increase in incarceration (Roberg, 16).
In order to counteract the number of individuals being detained in jail, the government of the United States of America is trying to come up with effectual programs of rehabilitation in order to lessen the probability of individuals engaging themselves in criminal activities. First of all is the offense risk or risk principle where persons who are known for committing crimes regularly are detained in jail for additional hours.
The second principle is the needs principle where the government is to the troubles and necessities that have forced some of the offenders to take part in criminal activities. The third principle is the cognitive behavioral technique which is aimed at modifying the actions and deeds of the offenders. The offering of rehabilitation programs will help in reducing the chances of individuals facing the probable factors that lead them to engaging in criminal activities. The widely known problem is the personal plus family related problems.
Canada having one of the highest numbers of youth is already taking steps to decrease youth imprisonment. They have taken responsibility to offer the youth with resources within the community and guide them on various ways to avoid engaging in criminal activities.
They are generally focusing on social interventions such as rehabilitation programs as the ones mentioned above. Others include offering education at their early stages of development, counteracting violent behavior, offering employment opportunities and positive parenting.
In conclusion, the culture is contributing a lot to high numbers of incarceration cases in both this two countries. To ensure that the large cases of incarceration are reduced, the governments in both countries, (the US and Canada) should make a follow up to ensure that the bad cultures enhancing weird behaviors such as violence are done away with. Individuals should be encouraged too to venture in this field by inventing new techniques to counteract the increasing criminal activities that lead to incarceration.
Barker, Vanessa. The Politics of Imprisonment: How the Democratic Process Shapes the Way America Punishes Offenders. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Bornstein, David. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
Gottschalk, Marie. The prison and the gallows: The politics of mass incarceration in America. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. Print.
Roberg, Roy. Police Management. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007.Print.
Provine, Doris. Unequal under law: race in the war on drugs. Chicago: Chicago UP. 2007. Print.