Conflict perspectives o Conflict – principal and essential social process.
• Assumptions: o Society consists of many groups of differing interests and power who are
o Laws are enacted as a result of conflict among groups promoting their own constantly jockeying for positions of defence and advantage.
interests – laws based upon the interests of the groups most able to o Law is the outcome of the greatest influences and largest number of votes.
influence the legal system. o Examples of attempts to control the political and cultural destinies of all
o The more powerful a groups’ position, the less likely their behaviour society:
violates the law. ! Political reform conflicts – rebellion/revolution wherein the
o The less powerful a group’s position, the more likely their behaviour outcome determines who shall be the criminal.
endangers the interests of a more powerful group and violates the law. " Acts that are normally condemned are condoned when a
• Who is in conflict: political purpose is attached to them e.g. sabotage is
o Marxists – interpret deviance principally from an economic perspective condemned but condoned once power/win is obtained.
(major conflict to them is between the ruling and working classes). ! Management-union conflicts – strikes and strike-breaking often
o Other conflict theorists regard the groups as more numerous and diverse; result from clashes between workers and police.
depending on time and the issue, there are several groups manoeuvring to " Vandalism, mass murder and thefts under such conditions
protect their interests and having various degrees of influence over the are not uncommon but are seen as necessary to obtain a
government and legal system e.g. immigrants from one culture who find satisfactory settlement.
themselves under the control of those from the host. ! Union-jurisdictional disputes – struggles between unions often
o Culture conflict: involve entanglement with organised crime and favouritism from
! Humans are born into cultures that provide meanings to behaviour industry.
(including norms governing them). " Assaults, etc result from instances in which all parties feel
! It’s the group and its norms that determine whether a behaviour is that justice is on their side.
“normal”. ! Conflicts over racial segregation – to upset patterns, illegal
• How conflicts of norms come about: behaviour often results.
o Cultural growth: • Conflict and authority (Turk):
! Society becomes diverse because of population growth, o Attempts to explain criminal behaviour have always been fruitless and will
intermingling of cultures, competitive interests, increased continue to be because criminality is not a behaviour, but a status granted
technology, etc. upon that behaviour.
! People living in that society find themselves in situations governed o No universal norms prohibiting any behaviour – the behaviour of acting
by conflicting norms – no matter which course they take, they will illegally does not differ from acting legally, and the application of law is
violate the norms of some concerned group. inaccurate, subjective and inconsistent.
o Migration of norms. ! Criminality is a state of being officially defined as punishable and
! Conflicts of cultures are inevitable when the norms of one come bears only a slender relationship to actual behaviour.
into contact with those of another. Can happen: o Theory of criminalisation based upon the concept of authority.
" When cultural groups are in close proximity of one another. ! The study of criminality is based upon the study of relations
" When the laws of one group are imposed upon another. between the statuses and role legal authorities and those of subjects
" When the members of one group are imposed upon another. but not makers of such law creating, interpreting and enforcing
• Group conflict: