Defining crime and deviance

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Conflict theories and definitions of crime and deviance

Conflict theories such as Marxism argue that a consensus of values and norms is unlikely to exist. Marxists believe that modern Western societies are capitalist societies are capitalist societies, characterized by extreme inequalities in wealth and power.

They argue that the wealthy and powerful BOURGEOISIE - the ruling class - can impose its definitions of normality and deviance on less powerful groups such as the working class and the poor, who are perceived as potential threats to their position. Marxists argue that the law functions to protect ruling-class interests and to criminalise the working-class in order to justify control through policing.

Max WEBER agreed with Marxism in that the wealthy were able to…


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