Conflict based approach
Lack of consensus among people
o Understand deviance and power relations in society
o To see how deviants themselves are caught in
structures in society
o Predisposed to deviance. They are part of a wider
o Deviance is political and a matter of protest,
Protesting conditions, protesting political and the
o Trace understanding deviance from Marxism to present
Conflict at the Centre of Human Societies
Conflict from diversity and different interests in society
Conflict should be at the centre of inquiry.
o Results in competition of status, power, wealth.
o Crime is explained by struggles in groups of society.
Inter group struggle explains deviance
Interests determines values
o Values conceal personal interests and gains.
Eg what good happens is fair and what bad
happens is unjust.
o State is not representative of common interests.
Represents those with power to translate their
interests to the rest of society.
o Those with most power can pursue their interests,
everyone should live up to these values.
o Only benefits those with wealth and status
Inverse relationship between power and crime rates
o More power you have, less likely to be labeled as a
Austin Turk Theory of Criminalization
Focus on conditions
differences between authority figured and society
o Resulting in conflict.
When do people actually conflict each other
What are the conditions that actually lead conflict to crime
Organization and parties involved in conflict affect likelihood
of conflict o The more organized the more likelihood of conflict,
more support from others, less likely to back down from
o Organization and sophistication Lead to conflict
Meaning behind the act to the people who have power to label
o Labeling theory- those with power label others
o Authority figure find things offensive, they create label
Impossible to separate values from research agenda
Should develop agenda that favors the non privileged
o Giving voice to unprivileged
Consideration of power
o Why people act and why people react
Rationality of actor in larger economic structure
o Individuals in a larger structure
o How structure impacts behaviour, how we are involved
Ignores source of power, what actually is
Focus on what should be and not what actually is,
o What is source of power,
o How to shift this to equal distribution of power,
o Social change and social structure
Inequality and power relates to crimes
Less dissecting meaning,
o Less revolutionize social structure
Examining variables of power, how to change it
o Social change was occurring, why it happened,
o Restructuring of society
o Conflict between material forces of production and
societal relations of production
o Societies capacity to produce goods, includes
technological equipment and knowledge,
o Skill and organization on how to use that equipment
Societal relations of production
o Relationships among people, eg. Property relations Material relations are continuous, always advancing and
Social relations Do not change as much, can freeze in power
o When material forces change social relations must
Eg. People being replaced by technology
o Over time social relations become inconsistent with
o Used to explain changes in European societies ,
Shift between capitalism was progressive,
Social relations are required to shift changes in material
o Survival of the fittest,
o Property becomes concentrated to few people,
Increase wealth, those who were at the top
slowly move down to proletariat and lose
wealth, wage laborer ,
Fewer workers needed with technological
advancement, more people in proletariat,
and less people in bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie vs Proletariat
o Contradiction of capitalism,
o Hinders new material forces of production, stops growth
Capitalism prevents anyone from moving forward
Social relations are going to be restructured violently
Should have group wealth
Did not deal with crime in significant way
o Unemployed and underemployed.
o Become unproductive and demoralized
Inequality in distribution of wealth, unequal
distribution of power.
o Crime results in struggle from isolated individual against
o Economic and political conditions.
o Rebellion(primitive form of rebellion) little crimes as
rebellion for those who are struggling in conditions.