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Conflict and radical theory. Explaining crime. Culture deviance theory. People in poverty cope by creating an independent subculture with its own set of rules and values Middle class: hard work, delayed gratification, formal education, caution

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culture deviance theory
Culture deviance theory
  • People in poverty cope by creating an independent subculture with its own set of rules and values
  • Middle class: hard work, delayed gratification, formal education, caution
  • Lower class (Miller) argued that there are different rules on the street
miller cont
Miller (cont)
  • Those who follow the street rules of lower class life find themselves in conflict with the dominant middle class culture
  • Focal concerns in street culture (not a rebellion--evolved to deal with conditions in slums) Miller identified six such concerns
focal concerns
Focal concerns
  • 1. Trouble: involvement in fighting, drinking, etc.
  • 2. Toughness: strength, fighting ability, athletic skill
  • 3. Smartness: being street-wise, able to outcon others
  • 4. Excitement--search for fun to enliven a drab life--gambling, fighting, drinking
focal concerns5
Focal concerns
  • 5. Fate: what happens is fate, luck
  • 6. Autonomy: personal freedom, resistance against controlled environments, such as schools, CJS, etc.
  • These concerns put people at odds with those of the larger culture, and make them more likely to get into trouble
conflict theory
Conflict theory
  • Crime is a function of conflict
  • The more conflict in a society, the more crime
  • Societies with little conflict, little crime
  • Sellin and culture conflict theory
  • Primary culture conflict: two cultures come into conflict. Less dominant culture will have the higher crime rate
culture conflict
Culture conflict
  • Examples can be seen worldwide
  • Secondary culture conflict: a subculture within a society is at odds with the dominant culture
  • According to conflict theorists, conflict might be over money and other material goods, power, or how a particular issue is decided
conflict cont
Conflict (cont)
  • Societies may have a variety of groups, all competing for different goals and prizes
  • These groups are dynamic, and change
  • Sometimes groups might come together over a particular issue
  • Even a powerless group might obtain power by banding together
conflict cont9
Conflict (cont)
  • Generally, there are likely to be some groups that consistently have more power than others
  • They determine the laws, and carry them out; different groups may be treated differently
radical and marxian theory
Radical and Marxian theory
  • Marx
  • Dialectic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis
  • Change due to conflict of competing economic systems
  • History is a succession of economic arrangements, as the weak struggle against exploitation by the powerful
  • Succession of ever-improving systems
marx continued
Marx (continued)
  • Progress is attained by the rise and fall of economic systems
  • Major epochs in history:
  • 1. ancient slave
  • 2. feudalism
  • 3. capitalism
  • 4. socialism
  • 5. communism
marx cont
Marx (cont)
  • All economic orders have been characterized by the class struggle
  • Class is the great divider
  • The ruling class owns everything and forces workers into exploitation
  • Capitalism overthrew feudalism, provided goods to more people, and instituted constitutional government
marx cont13
Marx (cont)
  • However, the workers are still exploited, paid a fraction of their worth
  • 19th century working conditions, child labor
  • Marx believed that the workers would rise up, take over the means of production. Capitalism will be replaced by socialism, and then by communism
marx cont14
Marx (cont)
  • When the means of production are no longer owned by individuals, the class struggle will cease.
  • The state will wither away. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
  • Marx thought that crime was a function of the economic system--capitalism
marx continued15
Marx continued
  • Modern capitalist societies involved a perpetual class struggle
  • Ruling class determines what is a crime, based on their own self-interests, and create the CJS to support it.
  • They create social conditions which create criminals out of the working class
marx cont16
Marx (cont)
  • When people are freed from the class struggle, people will become cooperative, and the result will be a crime-free society
  • People are inherently good, there will be little or no crime in a communist society
modern radical theorists quinney
Modern radical theorists (Quinney)
  • Marx’s predictions did not all turn out as expected
  • Revolutions occurred in feudalistic societies such as Russia and China, rather than Germany and Great Britain. The revolutions did not take place in western Europe or the U.S.
  • Radical theorists attempted to explain
  • American society is based on an advanced capitalist economy
  • Very large middle class involved in service occupation
  • a shrinking manufacturing and agricultural base
  • a small group of private owners
  • These changes, particularly the increasing size of the middle class, helped to prevent revolution
  • The state is still organized to serve the interests of the ruling class, and the CJS represents ruling class interests in preserving domestic order
radical cont
Radical (cont)
  • Advanced capitalism requires that the lower classes remain oppressed by whatever means necessary, especially through the coercion and violence of the legal system
  • Capitalism will collapse--the workers are still oppressed. Furthermore, the middle class becomes more sophisticated
radical continued
Radical (continued)
  • Only when capitalism is replaced by socialism, will there be a solution to the crime problem
  • Criminologists are merely servants to capitalism, reinforce its values
  • Criminologists should develop a political movement to promote revolution
radical comments
  • Methodological rigor is lacking. It is the case, however, that they have pointed out that a very small number of people are disproportionately wealthy
  • Socialistic countries have crime problems
  • “Nature of man” issue
economy and crime
Economy and crime
  • Economics: study of production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods
  • Occupies a major portion of human activities
  • Economy and crime
economy methodological problems
Economy: Methodological Problems
  • Two types of studies
  • Cross-sectional--different economies, same time
  • Longitudinal--one economy over time
  • Problems
  • 1. Data are not always accurate (UCR, economic indices--unemployment)
methological cont
Methological (cont)
  • 2. Correlational studies: economy might alter crime rate, but also vice versa, or the economy and crime may be affected by other factors. Cannot do an experiment
  • 3. Time lag--how long does it take an economic event to affect crime?
  • 4. Poverty is subjective
hypotheses about economy
Hypotheses about economy
  • 1. Declining economy (poverty, need) hypothesis: as the economy gets worse, the crime rate will increase
  • Lack of legimate job opportunities drives people to crime (strain)
  • Capitalism encourages greed, and the CJS criminalizes the greed of the poor (Marxist/radical)
hypotheses cont
Hypotheses (cont)
  • 2. As the economy gets better, the crime rate will increase
  • When people are more affluent, there is more worth stealing, more temptations (i.e., auto theft)
  • With affluence, there are more criminal opportunities (drugs, gambling, etc.)
hypotheses cont28
Hypotheses (cont)
  • 3. Relative deprivation: Perceived economic inequality affects crime rate. People perceive inequality, feel unfairly treated, resentment and frustration, aggression and crime (envy hypothesis)
  • Outgrowth of reference group (or social comparison) theory. Satisfaction depends on who one compares onself with--effects of television
hypotheses cont29
Hypotheses (cont)
  • 4. Common cause hypothesis: Unemployment and crime are caused by common factors
  • Impulsivity, low verbal intelligence, sensation-seeking, dropping out (drop-outs two times as likely to be unemployed)
hypotheses cont30
Hypotheses (cont)
  • 5. Crime may cause unemployment: if crime pays, people may become unemployed
  • 6. No relationship
research on need hypothesis
Research on need hypothesis
  • TARP project: provided money to parolees
  • no effect on recidivism of young males
  • Less recidivism among older males and those with families
  • Manpower project: added training. Again, effective with older males, and with females
income inequality
Income inequality
  • GINI Index
  • Measure of Income disparity
  • Ranges from 0 to 1
  • 0 would indicate that everyone had the same amount
  • Lower coefficient indicates a higher level of economic equality
  • Denmark: 24.7, Japan 24.9
  • Russia 31, Canada 33, UK and Italy
  • 36
  • U.S. ranks 92nd out of 124 nations, with 46.6, more income inequality
  • All of the nations higher than this are 3rd world countries
income inequality34
Income inequality
  • Highest are Sierra Leone, Botswana, Lesotho (around 63), Namibia the highest with 70.7
  • GINI index highly correlated with homicide rates—higher GINI index, higher homicide rates