Reaction Paper: Male Unemployment and Crime in England and Wales

630 words | 3 page(s)

Men are usually believed to be involved in criminal activities more frequently compared to women, and it is proved by statistics and different scholarly and non-scholarly papers. It is also a generally recognized fact that unemployment is among common causes of crime intentions. Carmichael and Ward are among researchers who are interested in investigating the interactions between economic hardships and different types of crime. In the article published in 2001, the authors conclude that the relationship between most types of crime and male unemployment is steadily positive, and the age of a male criminal does not affect this connection.

Main findings presented in the article are the following: fraud, burglary, forgery, theft, and total crime are all in a positive correlation with male unemployment. Still, there is one significant difference related to age: young unemployed men prefer avoiding robbery and violent crimes when they are forced to get involved in criminal activities, while adult unemployed men do not. Keeping research findings in mind, it can be assumed that the knowledge obtained from the article may be used for forecasting crime rates based on the changes in male unemployment and the age of unemployed men.

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Regardless of being a short piece of writing, the article is still valuable for understanding the statistics of male unemployment and crime rates. The main strength of the work is using official data prepared and published by governmental institutions as the foundation of all calculations because it guarantees objectivity and diminishes the risks of bias. If I were to conduct the same or similar research, I would choose the same strategy for locating the data instead of retrieving information from sources that are not reputable in order to make my study more credible. However, the authors do not explain the theoretical foundations of their research – positive motivational effect and negative opportunity effect that are seen as motivations for getting involved in criminal activities as a result of being unemployed. Ignoring the criticality of a detailed theoretical framework is a significant weakness of the study because a reader (me, particularly) is forced to conduct additional external research that makes the overall initial reaction less positive. Still, regardless of this weakness, there is another vital strength of the study – the authors use three different instruments for testing their central hypothesis. This trick makes the research findings and conclusions reputable and persuasive, thus eliminating the negative reactions connected to the weakness mentioned above.

I am strongly inclined to believe that all evidence presented in the paper supports the main argument (unemployed men are assumed to be exposed to high risks of committing crimes) and is applicable to the real world. The very fact that the data used for all calculations were retrieved from reports published by reputable institutions instead of referring to other research and the choice of quantitative research design instead of a systematic literature review or meta-analysis are two reasons for believing that the article is related to real life. More than that, when I read the article, I recollected the experience of writing a paper for one of my classes.

To complete it, I reviewed crime statistics issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and this report stated that males are commonly involved in criminal activities. In fact, men make up a dominant group of criminals in almost all crime groups. Although this report has not incorporated information on the motives of crimes, it still made me think that the article is relevant and up-to-date. On the whole, the article is valuable because it points to one of the ways to forecast changes in crime rates. Yet it is true that the overall approach might be prejudiced to the unemployed men, it is still true that the skyrocketing male unemployment rates increase the risks of criminal activities.

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