Class Notes (807,524)
Canada (492,700)
Criminology (697)
CRM 302 (18)
Lecture 8

CRM302 (Criminological Theories)- Lecture 8

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Ryerson University
CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM302-011 – Week 9: Conflict and Critical Theories Monday, March 18 , 2013 - Introduction & Breadth - Social Heritage - Intellectual Heritage - Dialectical Materialism - Karl Marx - Radical Conflict (I) - Wilhelm Bonger - Pluralistic/Conservative Conflict -Louis Wirth, Thorsten Sellin, George Vold, Ralf Dahrendorf - Radical Conflict (II) - Robert Merton (1938), Edwin Sutherland (1949), David Lockwood (1956), C. Wright Mills (1959, 1963), Alexandre Lazios (1972) --- INTRODUCTION & BREADTH - roots of the kind of theorizing go back to the mid-19 century, but took off on the heels of Labelling theory - mid-1970’s: work of these conflict theorists were being scrutinized due to the “Red Scare” - “Red Scare” was a fear of leftist ideas/communism, which continued into the 1950’s when Joseph McCarthy (a politician) decided there were communists trying to infiltrate the USA and wanted to root out these alleged communists - theorists were retreating for fear of being jailed and openly rejected these leftist ideas (Parsons and Merton were both part of the communist party but immediately disassociated themselves with the party due to the “you’re either with us or the terrorists” mentality) - communism was supposed to be a form of addressing social inequality but was seen as hating America somehow SOCIAL HERITAGE - these theories were the most radical forms of theorizing (radical = “getting to the root of) - took labelling theory to the next level (asked us to consider the process behind criminalization and consider that particular criminal behaviour is defined as so because it is in someone’s best interest to do so) - the fundamental thing that everyone is doing is thinking that crime & deviance were objective and took these things for granted when they were in fact a social construct due to power relations (not everyone has the power to label “crime”) - this shows us that socially-controlled crime has relatively little to do with the “greater good” -> the more “serious” the crime, the longer the sentence, but what is “serious”? - conflict theorists say this direct correlation does not exist (there are all kinds of serious crime causing serious harm that are not dealt with seriously or at all and vice versa) - asks us “who is controlled and defined as a deviant?” Answer: those who lack social power and are on the losing end of a conflict relation - the ontology of conflict criminologists is that power is used for a particular end: the end is to create/maintain an illusory consensus (that everything is “flowing”), even within the discipline (criminologists dictate what you should or should not know) because it is about defining the problem to be controlled - goes back to the idea of “CRIME-ology” being facilitated by “CRIME-ologists” INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE Karl Marx - German economist/philosopher who contributed a great deal to our idea of social inequality and provided us with the idea of Dialectical Materialism - He was concerned with changing unjust social organizations - He borrowed heavily from Hegel and Feuerbach, specifically the notions that a) the human like was a moment in an unfolding of an absolute greater spirit, and all social change was an evolving movement - human history is tied to/driven by material conditions, not just our ideas, thought, or consciousness, not the other way around - human history unfolds as a result of a dialectic movement/conflict, which is a clash of two opposing forces provoking social change based in the material world - generally not talked about because he “didn’t contribute” to our study of crime exactly, but contributed to our understanding of social structure and wrote about: - “Population Crime and Populous” (1859) about crime and poverty - “Capital Punishment” (1853) this is the first instance of using cross-cultural stats from lots of countries to prove death penalty was not a deterrent - “The Theft of Wood and the Working Class” about German parliament laws that related to what constituted as stealing wood at the time, and how it was punishable - Famous quote: “The criminal produces not only crimes but also criminal law, and with this also the professor who gives lectures on criminal law and in addition to this the inevitable compendium in which this same professor throws his lectures onto the general market as “commodities”.” Wilhelm Bonger - Dutch criminologist who emerged between Marx’s death (1880s) and the paradigm shift mostly in Europe and non-English speaking countries (early 1900s) - most Marxist works were not translated to English except the French work “Crime and Economic Conditions” (1914) - Contained Marxist criminology on murder, suicide, racism, war crimes, etc. - Theorized that crime is intimately tied to capitalism in three fundamental ways: 1) Crime is really engendered by the miserable conditions forced upon working class (quality of lives was greatly impacted by industrial capitalism and people got so desperate they would resort to crime) 2) Criminal law, and the aggrandizement of property rights (the more harm of the crime, the more serious) if you go into other criminal laws, it’s about crimes not against persons, but property (Bonger recognized that violent crimes only accounted for a small portion of crime, but we make laws to protect those who have property from those who don’t have property) 3) “The underclass” commits crime because of their miserable conditions, but t
More Less

Related notes for CRM 302

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.