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Lecture 3

Part c- Lecture 3 Conflict Theory last lecture.pdf

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 227
Professor
Addie Nelson
Semester
Winter

Description
March  31 ,  2014   CRIMINOLOGY LAST LECTURE Conflict Theorists : 1960s: (1) identifying “real” crimes – not petty crimes but crimes that cause real harm like sexual abuse etc. (2) evaluating how criminal law used as a mechanism of social control (3) examining inequities in society (4) describe the criminogenic influence of social and economic power Goal: explain crime within economic and social contexts -role of government -personal and group power and shaping law -role of bias -capitalism and crime Crime: outcome of class struggle in which conflict works to promote crime by creating a social atmosphere in which the law is a mechanism for controlling the have -nots while maintaining t he position of the powerful “True crimes” - racism, sexism, imperialism; substandard housing, unsafe working conditions Marxist thought - basis for all social conflict theory Karl Marx - era of unrestrained capitalist expansion economic conditions of capitalism - turned workers into a dehumanized mass Most important relationship: between owners of productions (capitalist bourgeoisie) and workers (proletariat) Crime: product of law enforcement policies “There must be something rotten in the very core of a social system which increases in wealth without diminishing in misery, and increases in crime even more rapidly than in numbers” Friedrich Engels, The Conditions of the Working Class in England in 1844 crime: function of “social demoralization” Rolph Dahrendorf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society “The working class of today, far from being a homogenous group of equally unskilled and impoverished people, is in fact a stratum, differentiated by numerous subt le and not so subtle distinctions. Workers, for example, are divided into the unskilled, the semiskilled and skilled and the interests of one group may not match the needs of the others” Richard Quinney, “Social Reality of Crime” 1. Crime is a definition of human conduct that is created by authorized agents in a politically organized society. 2. Criminal definitions describe behaviours that conflict with the interests of the segment of society that have the power to shape public policy. 3. Criminal definitions are applied by the segments of society that have the power to shape the enforcement and administration of criminal law March  31 ,  2014   4. Behaviour patterns are structured in segmentally organized society and within this context, people engage in actions that have relative probabilities of being defined as criminals 5. Conceptions of crime are constructed and diffused in the segments of the society by various means of communications 6. The social reality of crime is constructed by the formulation and applications of criminal definitions, the development of behaviour patterns to criminal definitions, and the construction of criminal conceptions  In the divide between instrumental and structural Marxism. Distinction: Imagine the really rich, rolex wearing executive sitting on bay st in nice office and everyone in office is dressed the same and they are saying lets screw the proletariate. This is when the law works to protect the interests of capitalists. Itwined loink between the most powerful and what they want and what is passed into law —Instrumental In strucutural they do not see a none -to one interst. But law serves interest of capitalism. Ordinary people feel the lawis fair and it may be necessary to throw Conrad into jail to grow support of regular people to allow percetion that everyone is equal. Instrumental Marxist: criminal law/criminal justice system - instrument for controlling poor/have-nots; state - tool of capitalists: task: (i) “demystify” law and justice: reveal its true purpose -capitalist justice serves rich/powerful -enables them to impose their morality/standards of behaviour upon an entire society -extend their self-serving definition of “crime” upon those who might threaten status quo or interfere with their never-ending quest for profits (ii) reveal the destructive intent of ca
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