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SOC*2700 Ch 12.pdf

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SOC 2700
C Yule

Chapter 12: Conflict Criminology - consensus theorists place a consensus of values at the very center of human societies, a shared beliefs about what is good, right, just, important or at least excusable - conflict theorists place conflicts of interests at the very center of human societies, competitions over money, status and power - interests ultimately undermine values - beliefs about goodness and righteousness and justice tends to be thin films that conceal personal gains and losses, personal costs and benefits - the organized state does not represent common interests, but instead represents the interests of those with sufficient power to control its operation - more powerful people are legally freer to pursue self-interests, while less powerful people who pursue self-interests are more likely to be officially defined and processed as criminal Early Conflict Theories: Sellin and Vold - Sellin focused on the “conduct norms”, which are cultural rules that require certain types of people to act in certain ways in certain circumstances - primary cultural conflicts are those occurring between two different cultures, these could occur at border areas between two divergent cultures or when the laws of one culture are extended into the territory of another - Voldʼs theory was based on a “social process” view of society as a collection of groups held together in a dynamic equilibrium of opposing group of interests and efforts - in this theory, groups in society more or less continuously struggle to maintain or improve their place in an ongoing interaction and competition with other groups - these social interaction processes grind their way through various kinds of uneasy adjustment to a more or less stable equilibrium of balanced forces, called social order or social organization - conflict is thus one of the principal and essential social processes in the functioning society - people are fundamentally group-involved beings whose lives are both a part of and product of their group associations - groups are formed when people have common interests and common needs that can best be furthered through collective action - conflict between groups tends to develop and intensify the loyalty of group members to their respective groups - the whole process of lawmaking, lawbreaking, and law enforcement directly reflects deep-seated and fundamental conflicts between group interests and the more general struggles among groups for control of the police power of the state - criminal behaviour is the behaviour of minority power groups - Voldʼs group conflict theory suggested that a considerable amount of crime is intimately related to the conflicts of groups Conflict Theories in a Time of Conflict: Turk, Quinney, and Chambliss and Seidman - during the Vietnam War conflict theory was at the forefront of criminology - Turk proposed a theory of criminalization that attempted to describe the conditions under which differences between authorities and subjects will probably result in conflict and the conditions under which criminalization will probably occur in the course of conflict - he argued that the organization and sophistication of both authorities and subjects affect the likelihood of conflict between them - authorities are presumed to be organized, since organization is a prerequisite for achieving and maintaining power - conflict is more likely when subjects are organized, since group support makes an individual less likely to back down - Turk defined sophistication as knowledge of patterns in the behaviour of others which is used in attempts to manipulate them - more sophisticated subjects will be able to achieve their goals without precipitating conflict with the superior powers of the state, and less sophisticated authorities will have to rely more strongly on overt coercion to achieve their goals - the primary factor that is likely to result in the criminalization of subjects is the meaning that the prohibited act or attribute has for those who enforce the law - a second factor will be the relative power of the enforcers and resisters - a third factor is the realism of the conflicts moves, it is related to how likely an action taken by the subjects or authorities may improve the potential for their ultimate success - Quinney published his theory of the social reality of crime, arguing that the legislative process of defining criminal laws and the criminal justice process of enforcing criminal laws occur in a political context in which individuals and groups pursue their own self- interests - he discussed conflicts among “segments” of society, which are said to be people who share the same values, norms, and ideological orientations but who may or may not be organized in defense of those commonalities - some segments have been organized into interests groups for many years (business) but others have organized themselves recently (women) - irrational and impulsive people represent a segment of society with common values even though they are not organized - conceptions of crime are created and communicated as part of the political process of promoting particular sets of values - the social reality of crime is that powerful individuals and groups promote particular conceptions of crime in order to legitimate their authority and allow them to carry out policies in the name of the common good and really promote their own self-interests - Chambliss and Seidman sought to discover whether the power of the state is a value- neutral framework within which conflict can be peacefully resolved, or whether, the power of the state is itself the principal prize in the perpetual conflict that is society - the higher the groupʼs political and economic position, the greater is the probability that its views will be reflected in laws - they found that judges must rely on their personal values when they make decisions in trouble ca
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