Conflict Theories Of Deviance. Conflict theories reject the idea that there is a consensus over a common core of norms and values and argue that those involved in crime often have antagonistic values. Conflict Theories Of Deviance. Marxist Approaches
Conflict theories reject the idea that there is a consensus over a common core of norms and values and argue that those involved in crime often have antagonistic values.
Marx actually made few direct references to deviance in his work but his theories have been applied by a number of people.
Marxist approaches have been through 3 main stages
Marxism and Business Crime
Traditional Marxism and Working Class Crime
WC crimes are mainly theft of property
Marxists see this as ‘understandable’ - ‘Robin Hood’ view
Crime can be seen as ‘proletarian revenge’
- hitting back at the exploitative society
Also as a result of ‘alienation’
- where the worker is ‘alienated from himself’
this may lead to drink/drugs related crime
Criticisms Of Traditional Marxist Approaches
- what about the choices individuals make?
- if capitalism is to blame why hasn’t communism stamped out crime
Neo- Marxist Approaches
The publication of ‘The New Criminology’ by Taylor, Walton and Young 1973 marked a turning point – they began to combine
Marxist theory with Interactionist approaches (particularly Labelling Theory) to offer a more ‘holistic’ approach which recognised individual choices and actions, societal responses and structural constraints
Taylor et al 1973 – Key Issues Of Crime
1. The Wider Origins Of The Deviant Act
Structural level explanations of traditional Marxism
Unequal and exploitative nature of capitalism
2. The Immediate Origins Of The Deviant Act
Why does the person do the act?
For gain, fun, revenge ???etc.
3. The Act Itself
Why that particular act - burglary, bank robbery etc?
4. The Immediate Origins Of Societal Reaction
Why the different responses to deviant acts?
Who commits the act?
Compare responses to Brady and Hindley
5. The Wider Origins Of Reactions To Deviance
Wider background to responses -
Law creation and mass media
6. The Outcome Of Societal Reaction On Further Action
Labelling theory is used here to show how those labelled respond to the label!
7. The Nature Of The Deviance Process As A Whole
This combines the above 6 factors and is seen as a ‘holistic’ approach
This is seen as ,ore complex and far reaching than the narrow Marxist approaches
Stuart Hall 1979 – Policing The Crisis
Used The New Criminology to help explain mugging in the 1970’s
The 1970’s were a time of unrest - strikes, riots etc
The media seized on this area as crime spiralling out of control
Moral panics of old ladies being battered
Thinly disguised refernces to ‘black culprits’
More calls for tougher policing - ‘stop & search’ was born
Many black communities were alienated
Hall says that violent crime had not increased in real terms
Media had helped the govt turn attention away from the economic problems of the day
Left Realism and Relative Deprivation
Our consumer society continually bombards us with messages of ‘must have’
Those who can’t afford feel left out and ‘alienated’
Some turn to crime as a result
But the most vulnerable in society become the victims
Administrative or Managerial Criminology
Young sees Home office inspired measures as weak
i.e. More surveillance cameras
Better security for homes and cars
Tighter gun laws post-Dunblane
Official Statistics and Realist Criminology
Criticisms Of Left Realism
Much of the criticism cones from Neo-Marxists. Scraton 1991 accepts that the issue of victims feeling more vulnerable is a concern but structural determinants in a class based capitalist society are still very important
Defends the Neo-Marxist position
He says that trying to deal with crime in the way suggested by Young and others will end in tears.
- it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.
i.e the root cause - capitalism - has not been addressed
Young says that Scraton lives in an unreal ‘utopia’
Right Realism has connections with the New Right philosophy.
Here the emphasis is less on the political and social dimensions of behaviour and more on individuals and their responsibility for their actions
Key figure is JQ Wilson an advisor to Reagan
Links between crime and deprivation do not exist
Right Realism has links to Functionalism
Fear of declining morals in society
More libertarian attitudes - homosexuality, sexual liberation etc. have caused confusion about ‘right and wrong’
Right Realist Social Policies
2 main areas