Deviance+Crime+2011

Deviance+Crime+2011 - Social Class and the Law Conflict...

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Social Class and the Law Conflict Theory of Crime Sept 23, 2011
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Conflict Theory of Crime Crime is a judgment about behaviors that conflict with the interests of the dominant class Crime as a legal definition of human conduct is created by agents of the dominant class The definition of crime changes over time and is culturally specific
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Social Reality of Crime Theory 1) Crime is defined by those in power 2) Enforced by agents of the legal system 3) Patterns of behavior develop over time related to the definition of crime (labels) 4) Ideas, info, and images support the system (i.e. hegemonic ideology of crime) *Protecting class interests
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MAKING AND ENFORCING LAWS IS POLITICAL 1) Group interest – laws support people in power and often maintain inequality by targeting specific groups 2) Power of defining “crime” 3) Intent matters – do you support or oppose the status quo?
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The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison The system “weeds out the wealthy” at every stage Decisions are not made simply on the basis of the offense committed or the danger posed to the public. There is a systematic economic bias at every stage. Arrest and Charging, Conviction, Sentencing
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Stage 1: Arrest and Charging 1) Police investigate and arrest – What is defined as a crime? Causes of crime often ignored
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 304 at Rutgers.

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Deviance+Crime+2011 - Social Class and the Law Conflict...

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