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Conflict Perspective on Crime in America

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Examine the question of crime in the United States from a sociological perspective using the Conflict perspective.

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1. Examine the question of crime in the United States from a sociological perspective using the conflict perspective.

The highest rate of crime in United State is committed by black Americans. In fact, as of 2005, statistics show that offending rates for blacks (poor, working class) were more than 7 times higher than the rates for whites (dominant class) (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm). These crime trends can be explained by conflict theory.

Conflict theory "is based upon the view that the fundamental causes of crime are the social and economic forces operating within society. The criminal justice system and criminal law are thought to be operating on behalf of rich and powerful social elites (often, whites, but always wealthy), with resulting policies aimed at controlling the poor. The criminal justice establishment aims at imposing standards of morality and good behavior created by the powerful on the whole of society. Focus is on separating the powerful from the not powerful, who would steal from others and protecting themselves from physical attacks. In the process, the legal rights of poor folks might be ignored. The middle class are also co-opted; they side with the elites rather the poor, thinking they might themselves rise to the top by supporting the status quo" http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/conflict.htm

From this conflict perspective, for example, street crime is crimes committed mostly by the poor, as is true according the United States crime statistics mentioned above. Thus, street crimes, even minor monetary ones are routinely punished quite severely, while large scale financial and business crimes (dominant, ...

Solution Summary

Using the conflict perspective, this solution examines the question of crime in the United States from a sociological perspective. Supplemented with a highly informative article expanding on the Conflict Theory of crime that includes examples and diagrams.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Social Disorganization and Conflict Perspective

1. Why do you think some neighborhoods are more conducive to crime than others? How does anomie play a role in the increased crime rates?

Akers, R.L. & Sellers, C.S. (2004). "Social Disorganization, Anomie, and Strain Theories" in Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application, (4th ed), pp 159-190. Oxford University Press, USA: Retrieved from http://roxbury.net/images/pdfs/ct4chap8.pdf

2. What is the Conflict perspective? Do you believe that crime could ever be eliminated according to the conflict perspective? Why or why not?
Dhavle, G. (2011, September, 20). "Conflict perspective" in Buzzle: Intelligent Life on the Web. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/conflict-perspective.html
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