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Crime

Criminal Law Discussion Forum

Crime

Postby fielding » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:54 pm

Hi Sam, Can you tell me what the structural solution to crime is? Does "structural" refer to "functionalist"? Thank you for your help, Laurie Seaborne

Oh yeah, I just saw your simple requests

I am a freshman at Pacific University
fielding
 
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Crime

Postby Izyan » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:23 am

Hi Sam, Can you tell me what the structural solution to crime is? Does "structural" refer to "functionalist"? Thank you for your help, Laurie Seaborne

Oh yeah, I just saw your simple requests

I am a freshman at Pacific University
Izyan
 
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Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:18 pm

Crime

Postby Heng » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:07 am

Laurie,

Without really knowing the literature you are looking at, I will take a blind stab at the definitions.  Structure, though often paired with the term "functionalist" used by more conservative theories(ie. the individual is the locus and origin of society, not society itself), is often the focus of Marxist, feminist, critical or post-modern theorists. A marxist point of view on crime concentrates on how historical and economic forces of capitalism have created a stratified society whereby individuals resort to crime because it is the only viable source of income.  (There is much more to this perspective, but....)  The structure of society has to deal with the social, educational and economic life chances of classes of individuals based on their background, race, and capital(whether symbolic, tangable [$, property], cultural or social).  Capitalist society is said to "structure" the lifechances of its citizens based on what is beneficial to those in power(consider C. W. Mills' "The Power Elite" for a good discussion of who are in power in the U.S. for instance).     A structural solution to crime, therefore, would be one which redistributes the wealth of its citizens through a fundamental change in the structure(ie. the labor market, educational credentialling institutions, wage structure, taxation, etc) to reduce poverty, and thus crime.  Even though Bill Clinton's economic policies improved the economy and lowered crime(for a while at least), not much of what he did was fundamentally structural in nature.  There is a difference here.  Thus, I would say that at least from a Marxist p.o.v., structure only has to do with function to the extent that it is beneficial to those in power.  (SOme might argue this, but I am ready!)  Look at the works of William Chambliss for a more indepth analysis of crime and structure from a marxist perspective.  

Regards,

SM  
Heng
 
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