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Bentham. Introduction to Criminology CRJ 210. Freud. The Search For Causes Dr. Tom Luzinski Part IV Political Theory. Marx. Darwin. 3/10/2014. 1. 7. Conflict Theory.

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introduction to criminology crj 210


Introduction to Criminology CRJ 210


The Search For Causes

Dr. Tom Luzinski

Part IV

Political Theory





7 conflict theory
7. Conflict Theory

Conflict perspective – an approach which holds that crime is the natural consequence of economic and other social inequities



conflict theory
Conflict Theory

Basic Assumptions –

  • Society is composed of diverse social groups, and diversity is based upon distinctions which people hold to be significant
  • Conflict among groups is unavoidable because of differing interests and differing values
  • Nature of group conflict centers on exercise of political power
  • Law is a tool of power



conflict theory the radical perspective
Conflict Theory:The “Radical perspective”

A perspective of the broader conflict approach that sees crime as engendered by the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and other resources

Has also been called “critical” or “Marxist” criminology



conflict theory a k a radical criminology
Conflict Theorya.k.a. Radical Criminology
  • Austin Turk (1934 - )

a. Criminality and the Legal Order, (1969)

b. radical criminology recognized that the struggle to control resources is central to society, and it encompassed the nation that law itself is a tool of the powerful



conflict theory radical criminology
Conflict Theory:Radical Criminology
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883)
    • assumes lower classes (proletariat) are always exploited by the “owners” of the “means of production” (bourgeoisie)
    • it is the labor of the lower classes that provides for the accumulation of wealth by the upper classes

c. working class suffers under the consequences of a “false class consciousness” – the poor are trained to believe that capitalism is in their best interest



conflict theory peacemaking criminology
Conflict Theory:Peacemaking Criminology

Peacemaking– posits that criminal justice agencies and the citizens they serve should work together to alleviate social problems and human suffering, and thereby reduce the amount of crime

At the heart of “peacemaking” theory lies the basis for Community Policing



conflict theory peacemaking criminology8
Conflict Theory:Peacemaking Criminology
  • Roots are in Christian and Eastern philosophies
  • has been referred to as “compassionate criminology”
    • Characterized by Empowerment
    • Characterized by Decentralization
    • Characterized by Valuing Diversity
  • popularized by work of Richard Quinney and Hal Pepinsky



8 phenomenological school
Phenomenological criminology – belief that social actors endow their behavior with meaning and purpose

A crime might mean one thing to the person who commits it, something else to the victim, and something different for the police, courts, and corrections

8. Phenomenological School



phenomenological school
Phenomenological School

Basic Assumptions –

  • Significance of behavior depends upon a social consensus about what behavior “means”
  • “crime” is a product of an active process of interpretation and social definition
  • Continued criminal activity may be a consequence of limited opportunities for acceptable behavior than it is a product of choice



phenomenological school11
Phenomenological School

George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)

a. symbolic interaction theory

b. demonstrated how we give meaning to things

c. human behavior is relative to the intentions behind it

d. human behavior is relative to the situation in which it is interpreted



phenomenological school labeling
Phenomenological School:Labeling

A. introduced by Frank Tannenbaum (1893-1969) in his book Crime and The Community (1938)

B. Howard Becker

  • Outsiders
    • criminality is not a quality inherent in the act or the person
    • crime results from social definition through law of unacceptable behavior
    • deviance is “created” by society



phenomenological school labeling13
Phenomenological School:Labeling

C. Edwin Lemert

  • Social Pathology (1951)
  • primary and secondary delinquency
  • primary deviance – individual commits deviant act, but does not view him or herself as deviant
  • secondary deviance – individual commits a deviant act and sees him or herself as a deviant



9 emergent theories feminist criminology
9. Emergent Theories:Feminist Criminology

Feminist criminology – a developing intellectual approach that emphasizes gender issues in criminology



emergent theories feminist criminology
Emergent Theories:Feminist Criminology

a.Rita Simon – Women And Crime (1975) and Freda Adler – Sisters In Crime (1975)

b. attempts to explain differences in rates of crime for women and men as due primarily to socialization rather than biology

c. Kathleen Daly and Meda Chesney-Lind

1. emphasize need for a “gender-aware” criminology

2. gender is the central organizing principle



emergent theories
Emergent Theories

Postmodern criminology

A. Includes such theories as:

  • Chaos analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Topology theory
  • Critical theory
  • Realist criminology
  • Constitutive theory
  • Anarchic criminology



emergent theories17
Emergent Theories

Postmodern Criminology

  • has been called “deconstructionist theory”
  • builds on idea that past criminological theory has failed to realistically assess the true causes of crime, and therefore failed to offer workable solutions