Social Conflict Perspective on Class, State and Crime

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Social Conflict Perspective on Class, State and Crime How does Class, state ,and social controls within a capitalistic society lead to increase crime due to the criminal laws and criminal justice system imposed on the lower middle class. Social conflict theory is the only one out of the vast number of criminology theories that deals directly with this problem. From out of it’s Marxist roots arose a theory which challenges the way in which today’s society views it’s legal system and the implications it has on it’s working class citizens. The nature and purpose of social conflict theories is to examine the social controls made by the ruling class and imposed on the rest of society. Some theorists say that class order has nothing to do with crime rates in society, but Richard Quinney have made great strides in proving that social class has a direct correlation with crime due to the social controls of a capitalist government. Social conflict theory focuses on why governments make and enforce rules of law and morality then why an individual violates the law. Conflict theorists do not view those who commit deviant behavior as rebels who can’t conform to social norms, they show how criminal law is used as a mechanism for social change. Conflict theory flourished during the widespread social and political changes of the 1960's, because it challenged the legitimacy of the government’s creation and implication of laws designed to keep the middle- class down. Social Conflict Theory came out of the Marxist thought. “Marx believed that the character of every civilization is determined by its mode of production the way its people develop and produce material goods.”( Senna, pg 226) This concept has two main components: productive for... ... middle of paper ... ...rime in the first place. Criminal Justice ceases to be the solution to crime and in order to move beyond it we must move beyond capitalism and satisfy the needs of the entire working class. Social conflict theory deals with this critical dilemma in our society oppression and examines the social controls placed on society by the ruling class. Bibliography: McDonald, Lynn. Social Class and Delinquency. Connecticut: Archon, 1969 Quinney, Richard. Class, State, and Crime. New York: Longman, 1977 Quinney, Richard. The Social Reality of Crime. Boston: Little, Brown 1970 Savitz, Leonard and Marvin Wolfgang. The Sociology of Crime and Delinquency. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1970 Senna, Joseph and Larry Siegel. Juvenile Delinquency Theory, Practice, and Law. New York: West Publishing, 1994

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