Conflict Theories: The Black Panthers

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“Conflict theory explains deviance and crime as a consequence of unequal power relationships and inequality in society.” This is exactly what the Black Panthers were fighting against. The roughnecks, on the other hand, were a "victim" of circumstance. They couldn't get away from the eye of their community so more people saw the trouble they got into, it wasn't an issue of power or inequality. They simply grew up in poor homes, I used quotation marks around "victim" because they didn't have to commit crime just because they were poor, and lots of poor people aren't criminals. The Black Panthers, however, were living in a society that oppressed them as a group regardless of any rights or wrongs. They weren't doing anything wrong (at least not…show more content…
They had ways of avoiding it, mostly due to their parent’s money, but they also knew how to make nice with police officers. The roughnecks didn’t have money and were given the impression that society didn’t care so, in return, they didn’t care about making nice with the police. According to the documentary, the Black Panthers caused less trouble than the police. The police never got convicted, though. Even when it was proven that a gun fight between the two groups was one sided, none of the involved police officers were charged. The difference between the roughnecks and the Black Panthers is that the Black Panthers were trying to be seen whereas the roughnecks didn’t have much of a choice in the matter of visibility. The similarities between the roughnecks and the Black Panthers don’t run very deep. They were both mistreated by society, treated unfairly in comparison and were being reactive but that’s about it. The roughnecks weren’t trying to change a country or society or culture or even their own grades. The Black Panthers were on a mission to right wrongs as they saw fit. Society reacted in similar unfair ways to both the roughnecks and the Black
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