How has the search for security shaped contemporary approaches to social welfare and crime control?
In this essay I discuss how contemporary society defines security and insecurity. It will explore the ways that governments and societies respond to the threat of insecurity by creating social welfare and crime control policies to increase security. The book ‘Security: welfare, crime and society’ will be the main focus for the essay although there will also be evidence drawn from an article written by Nathan Hughes who did a study on young people in Victoria, Australia and the United Kingdom on the different ways young people are viewed, as either ‘as risk’ or ‘at risk’. I will describe how societies are influenced in thinking about insecurity show that policies in the search for security around young people and the family have increasingly used a crime control approach.
Governments and societies are constantly searching for ways for their community or country to feel safe. People’s idea of security may vary depending on their culture or views. For example where some people find graffiti horrible and an eyesore, others will view it as art or expressing themselves. Hughes mentions in his article ‘In reality, understandings of what constitutes ‘order’ or ‘acceptable’ behaviour are likely to vary widely within any given community’ .
Other common understandings of security identified by Allan Cochrane and Deborah Talbot include emotional security, economic security, personal security, housing security (constant shelter), national security and environmental security. Some themes of security such as emotional security can be dealt with by the individual, whereas other themes such as health and housing security are national issues.
How governments and societies are influenced about insecurities and what causes them is important in how they develop ways to deliver security. In 2006 John Reid expressed the view that migrants are a threat to society in the UK. He...