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Lecture

CRM 101 - Conflict Theories & Critical Crimonology


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 101
Professor
Gurpreet Johal

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CRM 101: Week 6 Notes
CONFLICT THEORIES AND CRITICAL CRIMONOLOGY
CONFLICT APPROACH
An oppositional position in relation to much of the work of conventional crimina
logy, and also to many contemporary policy developments
in the field of criminal justice
Main point of distinction is it concern with structure of power. These are seen
to be instiutionalized in particular ways, and to reflect
social interet that oppress specific categories of people
WHAT IS 'CRITICAL' ABOUT CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY?
Critical criminology question the basic assumptions of the criminal justice syst
em
They seek to confront inequality and social suffering with promises of more just
outcomes
JUSTICE OR JUST US
The present operation of the criminal justice system is unfair, biased, and oper
ates in ways that advantage certain groups or classes above others
The primary task of the critical criminalogist is to expose the nature of the un
derlying power relations that shape how different groups are treated
in, and by, the CJS
This is also examined through critiques of state institutions that surround the
discipline of criminology - namely law, media, schools, and the CJS
CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY IN ENGLISH CANADA (1)
Influence of British 'New Criminology':
-Understands crime within its wider socio-cultural context
-Examine the structure and political-economic dimensions that produce cr
iminal behaviour
-Explores the relationship between crime and the prevailing means of pro
duction
-Questions the role of power and conflict in shaping crim and criminal j
ustice
-Engages in a materialist analysis of the development of law in capitali
st society
-Takes a dialectual approach to analyzing how individuals both influence
and are influenced by dominant social structures
MARXISTS CRIMINOLOGY
Focus on the poliitical, social and economic structures of capitalism
Poverty is not the only factor that causes crime
Alienating and exploitative nature of capitalism itself also leads to crime
Capitalist society is criminogenic
INSTRUMENTAL MARXISM
The state and its legal and political institutions directly serve the interests
of the capitalists class
Law is equated with class rule:
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