New Right theory


Today we further explored the ‘New Right theory’ and how it seeks to explain deviance – specifically the category of crime.

New Right theorists try to explain why crime exists and how it ought to be dealt with.

According to the New Right perspective, crime is a result of a number of factors:

  • Welfare dependency (people depending on government assistance – such as NewStart and Youth Allowance).
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • A lack of a male role model
  • Decrepit (run-down/neglected) buildings/facilities (see Broken Windows thesis – Wilson and Kelling, 1992)
  • Individual failings

This clip we watched in class today explains the Broken Windows thesis and also critiques this theory.

Those who subscribe to (believe in) New Right theory argue that the approach to crime should be:

  • Harsher penalties (e.g. “tough on crime”/”zero tolerance”)
  • Increased surveillance (monitoring people)
  • Increased policing

We applied this perspective to episode 3 of Netflix documentary series ‘Flint Town’ (highly recommend you watch whole series).

We also applied it to the government’s proposal to drug test those on welfare in Australia. Watch this clip to understand this issue further.