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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78530 Find in a Library
Title: Class, Conflict, and Criminalization
Journal: Sociological Focus  Volume:10  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1977)  Pages:209-220
Author(s): A T Turk
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Considerable attention has been given by social scientists to the relationship between social inequality and criminality. However, the dominant paradigms over the past several decades have each focused attention upon one basic aspect of the relationship to the neglect of the other.
Abstract: Anomie theory emphasizes the connection between structural inequalities and deviant behavior, but neglects the definitional processes by which deviance is made a social reality. Labeling theory emphasizes definitional processes, but neglects their structural and behavioral bases and, surprisingly, consequences. Most recently, various 'new criminologists' have been attempting to develop a theory that explains how structured inequalities generate both the behavioral and the definitional realities of deviance. Two major variants are emerging: the Marxian and the Weberian. Points of agreement and disagreement are indicated, and a prognosis regarding the future development of theory is offered. Despite their basic agreement on the paramount explanatory significance of social conflict and power, Marxian and Weberian criminologists disagree on (a) the nature of scientific inquiry, and (b) the nature of social organization, and diverge on the meanings of class, conflict, and criminality. Neither theory as such is likely to become the approved paradigm for conventional research and officially sponsored studies or action programs, although Weberian theory is more likely to be tolerated, because it is more amenable to selective interpretation and modification. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Marxism; Radical criminology; Theory
Note: NCSA presidential address, 1977
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