SOC 2760 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Conflict Theories, Proletariat, Bourgeoisie

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13 Feb 2017

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January 26/31st, 2017
Critical approaches lecture 5
Conflict theories (80-83 in text)
Social rules and regulations aren’t a product of consensus and harmony
Institutions (govern) enforce those rules and benefit powerful groups
- Ex. Order via domination
Powerful seek to have their interests protected by law and regulations
Those who resist are criminalized and or controlled (usually the powerless)
Critical approaches: conflict theory
o Marxist conflict theory
o Economic elite (bourgeoisie) create law to protect the capitalist system
and their interest
o Poor and marginalized (proletariat) deviate and resist bc of alienation
and deprivation
- Classified as deviant
- Laws oppress and control lower class
- Wealthy are rarely criminalized
Canadian incarceration tends: who tends to be in the criminal system
- usually the less unfortunate
- young men, most violent
- have done something that’s threatened ppl who are wealthy
- generally, poor
- undereducated
- unemployed
- theft under $5000
- break and enter (violation of someone’s right to own property)
- vehicle theft
- mischief (disturbing affluent communities)
Marxist conflict theory
- How do we come to accept this system as normal?
- Legitimacy via ideology (world view)
- The law reflects consensus
- The powerful “earned” their wealth
- The poor don’t work hard enough
- The system offers equal opportunities “American dream”
- Ideology becomes “common sense”
- The capitalist system isn’t contented
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