Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quinney’s Conflict Theory

Quinney’s Conflict Theory
Four factors influence one another, helping to produce and maintain a high level of crime in society.
To Marxists, the capitalist’s classless drive to increase profit by cutting labour costs has created a large class of unemployed workers. These people become what Marxists call marginal surplus population------superfluous or useless to the economy. They are compelled to commit properly crimes to survive. The exploitative nature of capitalism also causes violent crimes (such as murder and assault) and non-criminal deviances (such as alcoholism and mental illness). As Sheila Balkan and her colleagues (1980) explained, economic “marginality least to a lack of self-esteem and a sense of powerlessness and alienation, which create intense pressures on individuals.
Many people turn to violence in order to vent their frustrations and strike out against symbols of authority, and others turn his frustration inward and experience severe emotional difficulties.
Marxists further content that the monopolistic and oligopolistic nature of capitalism encourages corporate crime, because “when only a few firms dominate a sector of the economy they can more easily collude to fix prices, divide up the market, and eliminate competitors” (Greenberg, 1981). Smaller firms, unable to compete with giant corporations and earn enough profits, are also motivated to shore up their sagging profits by illegal means.
Conflict theory is useful for explaining why most laws favour the rich and powerful and why the poor and powerless commit most of the unprofitable crimes in society (such as murder, assault, and robbery). The theory is also useful for explaining why crime rates began to soar after the formerly communist countries in Russia and Eastern Europe embraced capitalism. But the theory has been criticized for implying that all laws are unjust and capitalism is the source of all crimes.

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