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NCJ Number: 76381 Find in a Library
Title: Distinction Between Conflict and Radical Criminology
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:72  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1981)  Pages:362-379
Author(s): T J Bernard
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The distinction between the theories of conflict and radical criminology are delineated, focusing on the work of Marx and Engels.
Abstract: The distinction between conflict and radical (Marxist) criminology parallels a distinction long recognized in sociology between two branches of the conflict tradition -- conflict ideologies and sociological conflict theories. Radical criminology is a conflict ideology which bases its perspectives on crime and law in the belief that capitalist societies precipitate and define crime as the owners of the means of production use their power to enact laws that will control the working class and repress threats to the power of the ruling class. In the view of radical criminology, the solution to the crime problem is to overthrow capitalist systems and establish social systems where class and economic conflict is eliminated. Social conflict theories, on the other hand, while sharing radical criminology's view that crime is defined by laws enacted by power groups who wish to control behavior that challenges their values and interests, maintain that this underlying dynamic of lawmaking is characteristic of all large, complex societies where groups with varying values and interests compete in the arenas of power to enact laws that will challenge threats to their ways of life. Whereas the radical criminologists have an ideological base for their criminological principles, the social conflict theorists purport to base their theories in empirically based sociological studies. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Conflict theory; Marxism; Radical criminology; Sociology
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