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SOSC 2650 (13)
Anita Lam (13)
Lecture

Social control theory and marxist.docx

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 2650
Professor
Anita Lam
Semester
Fall

Description
January 16 2014 Conflict Theory and Marxist criminology Lecture Overview 1. Recap 2. Marx: Basic concepts 3. Instrumental Marxism 4. Structural Marxism 5. Criticism of the Marxist approach 6. Implications of the Marxist approach 1) Recap • Critical theory: questions underlying assumptions and conditions through mainstream criminology • Administrative criminology: policy-oriented research *branch that seeks to inform the management and the control of crimes and criminals through policy oriented research; provide government on information of crime and monitoring polices and policing*  Marxist have a problem: this is because they target the weak and the powerless; help the ruling class with better tools, better policy implications  Marxist criminology is one kind of critical and conflict theory *focus on class bias* • Context of conflict theory: 1960’s and early 1970  Vs. individual as unit of analysis (e.g. bad apple theory)  There was a lot of political protest, conflict theory flourished and challenged the legitimacy of the government and it helped challenge the governments legitimacy of application and creation of law  Self-report studies: there was a distribution of crime that varied across the social classes; this was a shock because this report study was not found in police studies  The reason why the lower classes are creating more crime is through the discriminatory actions rather than the different classes; mechanism for controlling the lower classes  Conflict theories became skeptical of theories that treat crime as an individual problem  Do not like this theory because they suggest that these theories ignore the structural qualities of crime and of society that makes crime inevitable Common objectives of conflict criminology • Describe how control of the political and economic systems affects the administration of justice *Marxist: includes showing how justice in society is squed; those who deserve to be punished the most, end up being punished the least; whit-collar criminals vs. street crimes  Who controls it and what effect does it have? • Show how the definitions of crime favor those who control the justice system *outbreath of labeling theory; concerns were raised by Howard Becker and others; conflict model can be seen as an outbreak of the labeling perspective because it started with a starting premises that crime is relative to society*  What is different b/w labeling and conflict perspective: labeling = political; do not conclude that we need a revolution to systematically change society to change the lowballing. Conflict theorist = do want a revolution • Examine the role of conflict in society: power and politics *assumes that conflict is investable in society; why? Because it is produces by unequal distributions of power in society; rooted in the competition of power*  Vs. Consensus view of crime. Beccaria/social contract theory and Durkheim (collective conscience) *there was some consensus in society; Becceria: the law reflected the consensus of the value of the majority because law is ought to provide greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people; Durkheim: laws are a reaction of the majority because laws are a reaction of the collective conscious*  vs. interactionist view of crime: interpretation of reality based on meanings and symbols we have learned from others *assume that there were multiple realties and people would act according to their reality and the meanings that they have attributed to the meetings that we have with other through social interactions and how we play social roles; and these social roles structure our symbolic interactions* - Moral entrepreneurs; people with economic power can define crime. we define crime with the opinions according to the people known as moral enterprisers; emphasizes their ideas on right and wrong on all of us 2. Marx: basic concepts • economic forces (all our social relations are bound up with a societies economic forces) of the capitalist system; believed that the development of the capitalist system had effects on society, specifically that the capitalist system would turn workers into dehumanized people  economic forces structure society • mode of production: the way people make their living in which case the way people develop material goods in society • How? He suggested that when a mode of production changes in society we will see a change in how we relate to each other in that society  means of production: material things used to produce goods and services *land; different kinds of resources; factories; owning tools*  Social relations of production: people’s ability to secure goods and services, relationship between owner and laborer *who own the means of production and their labor power*  3 modes of production: communism, socialism and capitalism: 3 classes: owned means of production and the “capitalism class/burogeoise and a second class that did not own any of the resources all the had was a labor power tool cell (working class) - capitalist class/bourgeoise *maintain their power; maximize profit* - working class/proletariat *maximize their wages* - How to solve the problem? We change the mode of production; solution? Communism is the solution • under capitalism, class interests are mutually exclusive: exploitation and perpetual class struggle • communism  Needed a revolution and it needed to be organized from the working class against the bourgeoise why? Because the bourgeoise would not want to change capitalism Structural Determinism • Base-structure model  Look at economic structure of society  Ideology produced by culture law and media; superstructure maintains the societies base*  When we change the base, we change the structure* SUPERSTRUCTURE *social institutions* Ideology: law, culture, media, e.t.c *study of nature and orgins; where they come from; Marxist sense: refers to the cloaking of exploitation and class rule in the guys fairness and equity* BASE (mode of production) Social relations of production *social relations of production: e.g., bourgeoisie exploit proletariat* Means of production: factories, resources, tools, machines, etc. **base shapes and determines superstructure** Marxist Criminology • Crime is a function of the capitalist mode of production  Capitalism is what has the have *white-collar crime* and have nots *street crimes*  Do not believe in constructing the theory in a scientific method. • Tends to ignore formal theory construction and empirical testing • Historical and descriptive analyses  Goal? Not to prove stats that capitalism causes crime, instead are aimed at providing rich descriptions of how capitalism creates and environment in which crime is inevitable  Criminals are a product of society and a product of that society’s economic system an
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