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How conflict theory provides an insight to sociologist in to the process of criminal activity and behavior

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  1. Abstract.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Conflict Theory?An Overview.
  4. Types of Conflict.
    1. Primary and Secondary Conflict.
  5. Marx's Class Theory.
  6. Expanding Marx's Theory.
  7. Conflict Theory and the Development of Criminal Behavior.
  8. Critique of Conflict Theory.
  9. Application of Conflict Theory to Policy.
  10. Conclusion

Conflict theory has developed throughout the course of the twentieth century as a principle theory for better understanding the development of criminal behavior. Although conflict theory directly links criminal behavior to the development of larger social inequities, research on this paradigm clearly demonstrates that this theory has only been widely examined in the context of the philosophical understanding of social discourse. Through a careful consideration of the definition of conflict theory, its benefits and drawbacks and its application to the larger framework of understanding criminal behavior, this investigation clearly demonstrates that conflict theory is difficult, if not impossible, to institute in the context of practical application in the criminal justice system.

[...] Henry and Lanier (1998) in their examination of how conflict theory is applied to the larger context of understanding the development of criminal behavior argue that under the conflict model, ?most crime is seen as the result of large forces (e.g., economic) and not individual pathologies? (p. 238). As such, when criminal behavior manifests it is the direct result of social forces that are typically beyond the control of the offender. Although the offender may not recognize that his or her behavior is a manifestation of the conflict created in social discourse, the onset of this behavior is a direct response to the desire to mitigate the presence of this conflict. [...]


[...] Conclusion Synthesizing all of the information that has been collected in this investigation it becomes clear that while conflict theory provides sociologists with more integral insight into the process of criminal activity and behavior, the methods of applying the lessons learned under this theory remains a critical issue for development. Conflict theory definitively demonstrates that the social pressures created as a result of the institutionalization of the activities of the upper class can contribute to the development of criminal behavior. [...]


[...] Unfortunately, to find an answer to this question, one must look outside of the macro-environment that prompted the onset of conflict in the first place to consider issues of personality and individualism that could ultimately contribute to the development of criminal behavior. Thus, in this respect, conflict theory is only a contributing factor toward understanding deviant and criminal behavior. What Turner is referring to his work is addressed in Sutherland's theories on criminal behavior. According to Sutherland, while there was a critical social component of deviant and criminal behavior, the social component was mitigated to the specific behaviors that are learned by the individual in the social environment. [...]

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