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Examining Theory

Examining Theory

Schmalleger F. (2012). Criminology today: An integrative introduction, (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Pick 1 theory from one of the chapters 6, 7 &, 8

Examples: Social Structure Theories, Social Conflict Theories, Social Learning Theories (you may discuss more than one of the branch theories)

Address the following:

- Describe the theory and the history of its development.

- Why is the theory important to Criminology?

- Give examples of this theory

- Discuss any positives or negatives associated with the theory and explain why?

Solution Preview

The history of the social conflict theory can be tracked, through history, to Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes, but its modern day "hero" is Karl Marx, the father of modern Communism. Marx was an atheist, and he attempted to explain crime and struggle in terms of materialism and determinism. None of the social theorists had the best views on humanity. In fact their opinions were very cynical in nature. The conflict theory insists that communities and government establishments are designed for the individual and/or group of people to have a specific role in society. They believe that there is an eternal conflict between groups. If one thinks about the way a pyramid is structured it would be easy to place groups in the sections (Stevenson & Haberman, 1998). The top would be the "one percenters" or the wealthy. The next group below it would be the middle class, and below that would be low income people. It works the same within government and law. All social structures are thought to be designed to support the group with the most power and/or wealth. Conflict theorists believe that all of the groups within a society are born from conflict. A great example of conflict theory is looking at labor unions. Most northern states within the U.S. have unions to look out, protect, and help workers. They help get the blue collar workers raises and fight for the best interests of the worker. While this is great for them, there a few states that have outlawed labor unions, such as Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. In these specific states, the government, who has all the power, decided that it would not be in the best interest of the state and banned them before ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines examining theory. The social structures are provided.