Conflict Theories: The Struggle Between Crime And Crime

Good Essays
The willingness of abuse and corruption demonstrated by the government during the 1960’s created mistrust amongst our society. This social turmoil of the 1960s fueled new theoretical perspectives about crime, introduced by conflict theorists. Essentially, conflict theories are concerned on the struggles between individuals and groups in relation to power differentials (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2015). Conflict theorist, like many others, took different approaches in understanding conflict and crime. While some searched for the causes of conflict, and examined the basic assumptions under which conflict occurs, others attempted to provide theoretical rationale for resolving conflict (Lilly, 2015). While conflict theorist maintained individualized…show more content…
These theorists believed that crime was the result of this decline and could be reduced by recovering social solidarity (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2015). Under this perspective, the erosion of social solidarity was viewed in economic terms, in that the new division of labor unjustifiably exploited one class over the other (Lilly, 2015). Marx and Engels claimed that conflict was inherent due to the nature of social arrangements under capitalism (Lilly, 2015). Unfortunately, capitalism provided more power to those already in power and created conflict due to unfair disparities (Lilly, 2015). Thus, Marx and Engels provided that destroying capitalism and implementing communism would increase social solidarity and reduce crime (Lilly,…show more content…
Based on the assumption that humans are inherently social, crime would have been traced to an unfavorable environment that distorted human nature (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2015). These unfavorable environments were to product of capitalism, in that it created clear distinctions between the rulers and the ruled that created much tension. Bonger believed that human nature was distorted in unfavorable environments by “egoism” that made people more capable of engaging in crimes against others (Lilly, 2015). It was believed that this idea of egoism could not be reduced by social controls that bonded individuals to society, because a society under capitalism was the source of egoism (Lilly, 2015). Bonger found that much crime was the result of poverty generated by capitalism, while noting that those in power also engaged in criminal behavior (Lilly, 2015). The opportunities of power and decline of morality amongst those in power also came from a capitalist society (Lilly, 2015). Crime was the result of an economic system that prompted an egoistic mentality, while making the rich more wealthy and the poor more poor (Lilly, 2015). Thus, Bonger concluded that abolishing capitalism and redistributing power and wealth was the way to restore favorable environments and eliminate crime (Lilly,
Get Access