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Marxist Theory Vs Conflict Theory Essay

Conflict/Marxist Theory –Vold distinguishes between Marxist and Conflict perspectives, and lumps “post-modern” perspectives in with Conflict. Explain the differences between these two “critical” views of crime, particularly on the issue of social power (be sure to include Sellin, Vold, Quinney, Black, Chambliss & Seidman). How does one go about “testing” conflict theory? What, according to Vold et. al are the limitations of Conflict Theory? Finally, Post-Modern theory suggests that “domination” lies at the root of both violence and punishment. Explain this.
Marxist theory is a theory based on economic oppression by capitalist structures and institutions. Marxism states that conflict between those in society who own production vs those in…

In complex societies, the overlapping of different values creates what he referred to as “primary cultural conflicts.” The conflicts are created when the outermost parts of these cultures fight over territory as they encroach on one another. “Secondary cultural conflicts” are the production of sub-cultures by these competing primary cultures, and the culture with the dominant status controls the norms society reflects. Volds perspective is that of a “social process” in which society is viewed as a vast collective of groups bonded by a dynamic equilibrium of divergent efforts and societal interests. So consensus among all these conflicting groups at some point is adjusted till the right amount of balance and control is achieved. However, it is a very uneasy and ever-shifting balance of many strengths and weaknesses. Richard Quinney is known for “the social reality of crime” which consists of segments of society that are connected by shared norms and values, but not organized in any way. Vold excluded impulsive and irrational acts of crime, whereas Quinney looked to explain not just some, but all criminality. His view was that these irrational and impulsive people represented a segment of society,…

Neoliberalism is the governing philosophy of “small governance” and that the government should be very lean and beneficial to free market enterprise. To accomplish this neoliberalism pushes investing in human capital to achieve economic success. Done through stressing individual responsibility, self-reliance, and most importantly, the need for less government intervention in society. Wacquant establishes four institutional logics of neoliberalism: economic deregulation, retraction of the welfare state, pushing individual responsibility, and an ever expansive penal apparatus. When discussing criminal justice policy, Wacquant believes that neoliberalism is detrimental to society and that mass incarceration plays a critical role in maintaining power within this philosophy of governance. Involved in this is the passage of laws empowering coercive policing tactics, such as anti-picketing rules, and the use of this oppression to support corporate power in society. The laws are designed in neoliberalism to make it so the middle class and above have economic freedom, and those who are the poorest in society suffer the most repressive governance. Law enforcement policy is designed to empower the powerful and shut down any opposition to the power of corporations. How this all plays into race relations is the creation and continuation of what Wacquant terms hyper-ghettos, and how the neoliberal policies…

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