skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 70050 Find in a Library
Title: Conflict Theory in Criminology (From Radical Criminology, P 61-77, 1980, by James A Inciardi - See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): C R Huff
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The conflict model of criminology is discussed with attention to nine major theorists demonstrating three conflict perspectives.
Abstract: Advocates of a conflict perspective assert that criminal law does not reflect the functionalists' group consensus. The conflict theorists, instead, see three dimensions of conflict creating criminal law: (1) socioeconomic class, (2) group and cultural conflict, and (3) power and authority relationships. In the first instance, Marx's sociology, when applied to the subject of crime, suggests that crime is a result of class conflict based on economic inequality, and that, therefore, crime can be eliminated with the development of a classless society. Bonger went further in claiming that crimes committed by the dispossessed masses are related to their economic subjugation, while crimes committed by the bourgeoisie may also be related to the economy; e.g., declining business fortunes or insensitivity fostered by the inequality of wealth. Further, Quinney critiqued capitalist society as criminogenic and called for the establishment of a socialist alternative. In the second dimension, Sellin held that conduct norms are defined differently by different groups andd that the processes of socialization serve to instill differential definitions of proper versus improper conduct; social differentiation brings these group conduct norms into a culture conflict. Miller further suggested that the diversity of lower-class subcultures is a result of America's pluralistic society and that subcultures will inevitably conflict with more dominant groups in society. Vold's theory was more sociopsychological, with ingroup loyalties bringing persons into conflict with external groups in a politically organized society. In the third instance, Weber held that property differences led to the development of classes, differences in power created political parties, and prestige differences led to the development of status groupings or strata. Dahrendorf and Turk extended Weberian traditions by emphasizing the relationships between authorities and their subjects. These perspectives, or dimensions, should be more systematically linked with sociological theory, and will undoubtedly help in furthering the field of criminology. About 30 references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70047-49 and 70051-62.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.