The actual patterns of social relations are determined by the economy, institutionalized forms of the state or political power, and associated forms of culture and ideology (Gottfredson, 1998). Modes of behavior and their definition as criminal vary accordingly. Class structure gives rise to different types of criminality, which relate fundamentally to the needs of the dominant minority to control the laboring majority. Such a pattern ensures the continual production of social wealth, but it also ensures a continuation of economic exploitation and class struggle over the distribution of social surplus. Crime is simply one such expression of this class struggle, an endemic feature based upon the functional and dysfunctional characteristics of living in a class-based economic system.
According to the conflict theory, crime is the result of inequality. The conflict theory pulls elements of Marxist, which argues that deviance is the response to inequalities of capitalist system not from factors biology, personality and labels. They believed that crime is the result of unequal power between the working class and the upper class, which hold the privileged position. It is also important to pay attention to race and gender in this perspective, where they are seen as an enduring struggles in society. Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum and Carr states that “men are more likely than women, for example, to commit crimes; the young are more often than older people.”(173).
False consciousness is the concept of the working class being ignorant of their exploitation by the capitalist system which is created by legislators, law enforcement and the media. Laws created by the elite ruling class contribute to the unbalanced view on crime. The laws created do not simply reflect the reality of crime; rather the laws help to shape the reality that we see. It is the responsibility of politicians to define criminal acts and prohibit dangers that minimize public safety (Reiman & Paul, 2010, p. 60). Legislation is created by a select group of powerful individuals that overlook the severely disadvantaged.
In the end penalties are both tougher and more likely to be imposed for crimes committed by lower class people than those of higher social classes. The conflict approach to deviance underscores the relativity of deviance. The conflict perspective when applied to the study of deviant behavior emphasizes social inequality and power differentials. The most powerful members of society are said to determine group norms, and consequently who will be regarded as deviant. Conflict theorists relate deviance to capitalism pointing the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime.
Criminal law involves prosecution by the state of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime (Criminal law, 2010). But who gets to decide what acts are criminal? It should be no surprise that the individuals with the most power do. For radical criminologists, the problem arises in capitalist societies because it is in these societies where the means of production are owned privately by a small number of people. Based on the writings of Karl Marx, radical criminologists argue that the state works to serve the interests of the capitalist ruling class and that criminal law is merely an instrument of that class to keep all other classes in a disadvantage position (Young et al.,1973; Quinney, 1980).
“The idea of emotion as a kind of cognitive shortcut explains why jurors, like children are more likely to make emotional judgments than judges.” (Bandes, 311, 1999) Society alone has many emotions towards criminals and victims ranging from hate, anger, fear towards ... ... middle of paper ... ...the dominant class. The radical conflict theory believes that conflict comes from economies of class divided societies, which can be capitalism that creates a privileged class or socialism that’s an alternative to forming elites. Feminist theory suggests that patriarchy and gender shape everything, including the criminal justice system (Kraska, 2004). Like Black, this type of criminal justice is to control certain people in society; it is through the three strikes law that oppresses criminals. Who commits crimes?
Marxism is a social structural theory. This means that marxists, like functionalists believe that society and the way it is structured are the main causes of crime. Unlike functionalists, who argue that crime and deviance are inevitable in all kinds of society, marxists argue that crime is only inevitable in capitalist societies and that capitalism by its very nature is criminogenic. Marxists view law as part of the superstructure, which in marxist theory is defined as the institutions and culture considered to result from or reflect the economic system or infrastructure underlying a society and is by capitalists and for capitalists. These laws are only enforced on the proletariat.
Durkheim believed that crime served the purpose of displaying to members of society what behaviours and actions are considered unacceptable as determined by societal co... ... middle of paper ... ...y are bombarded from birth that they should desire and pursue money, power, fame, and success. Without achieving these goals they are seen as failures. Strain theories have shown that placing too much emphasis on individual success and the pursuit of happiness through the accumulation of power and wealth, can lead to an increase in crime. References Featherstone, R., & Deflem, M. (2003). Anomie and strain: Context and consequences of Merton’s two theories.
The first one is that the law in itself is the means in which the ruling party can enforce on others. The second front is according to radical criminologists is the why they view crime in itself. These criminologists believe that the product of class struggle is all crime which in itself causes individualism and competition within themselves. The third front is that a surplus of labor may cause problems. If we have more labors than there are jobs, then these unemployed individuals will turn to whatever means are available to them, to support their families, habits, and themselves.
Conflict theory. “Conflict theories emphasize the political nature of crime production, posing the question of how the norms of particular groups are encoded into law and how; in turn, law is used as a means by which certain groups dominate others.” (Hess, Orthmann and Wright) This theory is to deal with the group(s) that are in control politically and how they are to dominate certain groups within their power. Radical theory. This is about the rich and the poor citizens within in society. The rich are to have power because they are to have money.