In society making them more likely to deviate c

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Understandable Statistics: Concepts and Methods
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 23
Understandable Statistics: Concepts and Methods
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in society, making them more likely to deviate. C. According to illegitimate opportunity theory social classes have distinct styles of crime due to unequal access to institutionalized means of achieving socially acceptable goals. 1. Many poor children in industrialized societies, who are socialized into wanting to own things, end up dropping out of school because of educational failure, thereby closing the door on many legitimate avenues to financial success. 2. Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin suggest that opportunities for remunerative crime are woven into the texture of life and may result when legitimate structures fail. In this way the poor may be drawn into certain crimes in unequal numbers. 3. Illegal income-producing activities, such as robbery, drug dealing, prostitution, pimping, gambling, and other “hustles,” are functional for those who want to make money, but whose access to legitimate activities is blocked. 4. Gangs offer disadvantaged youth an illegitimate opportunity structure. Research by Martin Sanchez Jankowski demonstrated that young men joined gangs because they provided them with access to steady money, recreation, anonymity in criminal activities, protection, and a way to help the neighborhood. 5. White-collar crime refers to crimes that people of respectable and high social status commit in the course of their occupations. Such crimes exist in greater numbers than commonly perceived, and can be very costly—totaling about $400 billion a year. They can involve physical harm and sometimes death (concealing information that silicone breast implants might leak, for example). 88
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Understandable Statistics: Concepts and Methods
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 23
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DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL IV. The Conflict Perspective A. Conflict theorists address the issue of why the legal system is inconsistent in terms of providing “justice for all”. This inequality is central to their analysis of crime and the criminal justice system—the police, courts, and prisons. B. The criminal justice system is controlled by the wealthy and powerful—a power elite; this group determines the basic laws whose enforcement is essential to the preservation of its power. C. According to conflict theory, the law is an instrument of repression, a tool designed to maintain the powerful in privileged positions and keep the powerless from rebelling and overthrowing the social order. When members of the working class get out of line, they are arrested, tried and imprisoned in the criminal justice system. 1. While the criminal justice system tends to overlook the harm done by the corporations, flagrant violations are prosecuted. The publicity given to white collar criminals helps to stabilize the system by providing evidence of fairness. 2. Usually the powerful bypass the courts altogether, appearing instead before some agency, whose members are people from the same wealthy background. Given this, it is not surprising that the usual sanction is a token fine.

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