Hindelang lifestyle theory

8fd9bd9db029eadbaae4eddd42b00b3dThere are several theories that Hindelang suggested that could relate both race and crime. One of the theories is known as the lifestyle exposure model. This model was developed by Hindelang, Garofalo, and Gottfredson in 1978. It explains that, the behaviour of a person will be greatly affected by the exposure of the person with the patterns of his daily endeavours or his lifestyle. They came up with this theory after carrying out victimisation surveys in eight cities namely: Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, St Louis, Portland, and Newark.

At the lowest point in continuum, the theory predicts that, a substantial overrepresentation of blacks in the population of the UCR arrestees on the other hand at the highest point in continuum, the theory predicts a very small overrepresentation of blacks.

Results of the surveys show that, blacks are overrepresented in the category of robbery, compared to their general population, than they are in the category of rape. In the latter crime category, white people are largely overrepresented than they are in robbery.

According to Garofalo: 1947:40, geographical and social proximity are found to be two factors that may lead to individuals’ exposure to potential offenders. People who share geographical area with offenders are at a higher risk of becoming a victim of crimes. The offenders are more likely to perform crimes in their home areas since less inputs or resources are required i.e. money to travel.

Another theory explained is the routine activity approach. Routine activities are defined as “recurrent and prevalent” activities which provide for basic population and individual needs, whatever their biological or cultural origins (Cohen & Felson, 1979:593, Felson, 1997:913, Miethe, Stafford & Long, 1987:184)

In one way or the other, the general public involve in some routines that bring different people together. The interaction of people with different backgrounds in activities such as leisure, social interactions, learning or childrearing creates a gap for criminal activities in cases such as personal conflicts, power, or survival.

The male peer support model is another theory suggested by Hindelang. It was developed in 1988 in the efforts to explain various forms of sexual assault in campuses. This theory basically explains how peer pressure leads to men sexually assaulting their female colleagues. Some scholars argue that, if for example a male student shares his heartbroken and hurt experiences with his peers, he may be ill advised by his friends to go and revenge.

  1. The official data from uniform crime reports (UCR) and from the victimization surveys show that the blacks are substantially overrepresented as offenders of common law crimes that include robbery, assault and rape.

Official data also reveal that there is a higher likelihood of a crime involving a black person to be report than a crime involving a white person.

  1. Self-reported reports are incompatible with the UCR reports. The UCR are most extensive reports on crime data. If self-reported cases are not taken into consideration by the UCR, the data may be biased. There are less cases of black offenders reporting themselves to the police or the relevant authority.
  2. The victimization surveys reports show that the number of black offenders in crimes of robbery and assault are is relatively high than the number of white offenders involved in similar crimes. The number of white offenders in rape cases is however more than the black offenders involved in rape.
  3. Reporting of bias comes when disseminating and evaluating findings of a research or a survey. The author suggests that the data collected should be of least bias. Factors that influence offenders include also; age, gender or even alcohol abuse.
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