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Law Class, Fall 1999

Exercise 6: Consensus and Conflict

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: September 15, 1999
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Lecture Notes 6: Conflict Theories of Crime:
The Origins of the System of Criminal Law

Adler describes the consensus and conflict theories of the origin of deviance and the resultant definitions of crime and construction of criminal laws.

  1. In what ways is conflict theory like postmodernism?

    Conflict theory is like postmodernism in its affirmation that there are different classes in society which involve power struggle. Those who are dominant in this class struggle are generally those in power, in legislative and enforcer positions, so that the laws are written and enforced from their perspective. This language suggest that "truth" depends of how much power you are enabled to wield.

    Society today no longer reflects the situation in which Marx described class struggle. Some have likened race issues to class issues; some have likened gender issues to class issues. Elements of class can be seen in both, but there are modern complexities of intersectionality which are forcing our theorist to begin to redefine class. Many who adopt this position refer to themselves as Post-Marxist.