Ethnicity person lives their life. Ethnicity roots people

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Last updated: September 11, 2019

Ethnicity varies all over the world.  Diversity in our world is what we all have in common, it is part of our identity and it defines the way each person lives their life.

Ethnicity roots people and provides them with a means to express themselves in society. For these fundamental reasons and functions of ethnicity, the cultural and ethnic background of a person should not colour their view in the eyes of the justice system. But it is often that the colour of a person’s skin or the way they look has swayed the justice system in a direction that shows no regard for a person’s true intentions or the person itself.In the UK, until the 1970’s,  questions of ethnicity being related to crime were barely looked at by sociologists of crime and deviance and the primary focus was on class. It was assumed during the early phase of post-war immigration that members of ethnic minority groups were as unlikely to be perpetrators than the majority white population, and all members were treated fairly by the criminal justice system. Furthermore, a major investigation into police and immigrant relations in 1972 found that “black people were more law-abiding than the general population”. There was little to no evidence against Black and Asian immigrants with regards to an increase in crime rates (stated by sociologists Layton-Henry, 1992).

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However, in the following 10 years, relations between black and other ethnic minority groups and the police deteriorated and there was increasing evidence of racist attacks.Members of most disadvantaged minority groups in Western countries are likely to be disproportionately arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for violent, property, and drug crimes. This is true whether the minority groups are members of different “racial” groups from the majority population, for example, blacks or Afro-Caribbeans in Canada, England, or the United States, or of different ethnic backgrounds, for example, North African Arabs in France or the Netherlands, or irrespective of race or ethnicity-are recent migrants from other countries, for example, Yugoslavs or Eastern Europeans in Germany and Finns in Sweden. Important social policy dilemmas that are seen in individual countries to be uniquely their own, such as race relations in the United States or assimilation of Maghreb-derived guest workers in France or the experience of Aborigines in Australia, are not unique at all but are instead variations on common themes of social structure that characterize many countries.

Many of these ethnic groups are already sidelined from society and are unemployed. Therefore it is important to identify why and to what extent these groups receive disproportionate convictions rates as unfair conviction not only further isolates these members from society, it also deteriorates the view other members of society have of them. Hate crimes are becoming increasingly common and publicized in many countries, and violent attacks against minority groups are more evident in European countries.

Members of victimized minority groups, in turn, are likely to become more alienated from majority populations. This isolation pushes these groups further towards crime and deviance, and hence a cycle is induced by institutional racism. Institutional racism (also called structural racism) is any form of racism occurring especially within institutions such as public government bodies, private business corporations, and universities (both public and private. It is one of three forms of racism: (1) personally-mediated, (2) internalised, and (3) institutional. Stokely Carmicheal of the Black Panther Party, in the late 1960s, coined the term institutional racism and defined it as “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin”.

The media also plays a huge role in the construction of a social image for these ethnic and racial groups. Moreover, many political policies and campaigns are based purely race relations and political controversies about immigrants, and these are high up on the political and policy agendas of many countries. In an era of rapid social and economic changes in many countries, persistently high unemployment in Europe, and declining real wages in North America, many people feel threatened and insecure and nativist politicians have been quick to blame minority and immigrant groups for much of what seems wrong. 

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