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SOC212H1 Lecture Notes - Social Order, Marxism, Sweatshop

Course Code
William Magee

of 4
Conflict and Radical Theories
I. Conflict Theory
- It moves away from the individual view of crime and goes towards political
and economical view
- According to conflict theory capitalist theory
oDefines what criminal behaviour is
oCreate conditions for conduction of crime
- this view became popular in 1970 and people started to respond to event
that were going on at the time
- they borrowed a lot from conflict and Marx
A. Overview
B. Roots
C. Grand Theory: Consensus vs. Conflict Perspectives
1. Assumptions of the consensus model- if change occurs it would be
because of catastrophic change, and since moral values are widely
shared, the delinquents are not part of the
They say that things are not everything is at equilibrium and
they don’t questions the basic underlying assumption
2. Assumptions of the conflict model – they focus on the importance of
social change and exercise of power by limited # of individual
Society is held together by the constrain and consensus
Social order is maintained by ruling class
Its in the interest of ruling class no to prosecute the white collar
We must concentrate on the distribution of crime, labels are
selectively applied to certain people
- Consensus – stability, society is well integrated, all elements have a function,
value consensus
- Conflict- change, those elements contribute to change, consensus is based on
D. Marxist Theory- German, during his life time you see the emergence of
western businesses, he has a dilatical theory
- He viewed history as trouble between economical classes
- But the consequence of that trouble led to better times – slavery feudalism
- He also argued that each has its own source of down fall
- He thought it also contained weakness that would lead to new form of
- Bourgoscy – the ruler
- Prolocariates – they weren’t paid for the labour that they did
oSweat shops in Asia – paid very little to make more profit- make them
do as much amount of work
oTheir labour and talent were sold for very little
E. Relevance to Current Research- arose from Maxist
1. Instrumental Marxist- the idea of control experiment, comparing
street crimes vs white collar crimes
- Jacob- they looked at # of states in US, the greater the gaps between rich
and poor, police would act more fiercely where there is poverty
- White middle class people are more likely to get police attention if they were
victimized then women of minority
- Criminal justice system decides what case they are going to spend more time
better from them
2. Structural Marxist- laws are passes to ensure long term benefit of
- They would also be interested in charting the violation of criminal law
- Tony – child saver – looking at the juvenile courts
F. Problems with Conflict Theory
- Downs and Rock – important criticism came from feminist – victimization on
females are really ignored
II. Developments in Feminist Theory
A. Overview
- Second wave of feminism – broke open due to female offenders and female
- There is no one feminist perspective – because the approaches varies,
solution and methodology differ
- Feminist generally assume that general inequality remains in society and
must address it
- They differ in their views of where this inequality is located and what should
we do to fix it
B. Feminist Epistemologies- talks about what is knowledge, main stream
criminology is rooted in that science is value of control
1. Feminist empiricism – the most controlled
- They believe that scientific planes can recognize- we must scientifically study
women just the way they did for men
- This approach is instrumental and fills gaps
- Extensive research was done on sentencing of women offenders using the
same method
- Research was also done in differential treatment of women and who work in
criminal justice system
- They also started to looking at juvenile females
- Some people questioned the empirical method and
- There were people who criticized women who looked through this perspective
2. Feminist Standpoint theories – assumes that perceptive of the
researcher influences the results
- Don’t do a survey, talk to the women and understand their perspective
- They reject that we take in the same knowledge and
- We cant presume that everyone’s experiences are the same, so if you want
to understand what’s
- it like being in a prison, so ask them to give you their perspective
- get into the mid on people
3. Feminist postmodernism/cultural criticism- they say there are multiple
truth that takes context into account
- They question the mid set it self- how do we know what we know, how are
our concept and category are form, and how do it influence our world
- Really emphasize alternative discourses, effects of language,
- They did research on pathways, gender lives and gender crimes
- Really argued that you can’t take existing theory like control, differential
association and add women and assume that same thing are going on for
- They view victimization as gender neural
- Women have much lower victimization them men, except by the people that
they know
- They are not gender neural activity
- Miller- looks at how men and women commit armed robbery – not the same,
men use physical violence, do it masculine dominance, women rob other
women, less likely to be armed, they do it for instrumental reasons rather