The Conflict Perspective Of Deviance And Deviants

1009 words - 4 pages

The Conflict Perspective of Deviance and Deviants
Works Cited Not Included

·     When it comes to the conflict perspective and deviance, researchers have
discovered one of the most influential lines of theory and research (Quinney,
1980; Chambliss and Seidman, 1982; Swaaningen, 1997; Arrigo, 1999). Marxist
criminologists see deviance as a product of the exploitative nature of the
ruling class. Deviance is a behavior that the rich and powerful see as
threatening to their interests. An example of the conflict perspective relating
to deviance is white- collar crimes. (Edwin Sutherland {1940,1983}) White-collar
crime is any crime committed by respectable and high status people in the course
of their occupations. (Lower status people commit crimes of the streets; higher
status people engage in ?crimes of the suites?). (Nader and Green, 1972; D.R.
Simon, 1998). Examples of these crimes include: price fixing, illegal rebates,
embezzlement, manufacture of hazardous products, toxic pollution and more. (
Geis Meier, and Salinger, 1995; J.W. Coleman, 1977; Calavita,Pontell, and
Tillman, 1999). Although the costs of these crimes are higher than lower status
crimes, and these crimes are more harmful to society, tolerance is shown and
leniency is shown because of their high-class position. In the end penalties are
both tougher and more likely to be imposed for crimes committed by lower class
people than those of higher social classes. The conflict approach to deviance
underscores the relativity of deviance. The conflict perspective when applied to
the study of deviant behavior emphasizes social inequality and power
differentials. The most powerful members of society are said to determine group
norms, and consequently who will be regarded as deviant. Conflict theorists
relate deviance to capitalism pointing the relationship between race, ethnicity,
and crime.

2)     Please explain deviance and discuss the relationship between race and
deviance as it relates to crime and criminal behavior. Please consider
differences in perception among groups or people who define persons as deviant.

·     Deviance is any behavior that departs from societal of group norms. (Ex:
criminal behavior; violations of significant social norms) These significant
norms are those that are highly important to either most members in a society or
to the members with the most power. When it comes to race and deviance relating
to certain crimes and criminal behavior, it is proven that there is differential
treatment that minorities receive in the American criminal justice system. There
are actual statistics showing that African Americans and Latinos are treated
more severely and harshly than whites at all points in the criminal justice
process. Examples range from arrest through indictment, conviction, sentencing
and parole. (Skolnick, 1998; Schaefer, 2000). In most cases when the criminal
offense is the same, Latinos and African Americans will be...

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