By Peter Joyce

ISBN-10: 1843925885

ISBN-13: 9781843925880

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The situation was, however, different in an organic society. Here social cohesion arose not from the existence of consensual values but from ‘a complex system of interdependence which recognises the pursuit of individual goals, provided they are legitimate and socially sanctioned’ (Pakes and Winstone, 2005: 4). The law played an important role in reconciling differences and in providing a mechanism to promote social solidarity through the affirmation of social values. However, rapid social change could destroy the vigour of mechanisms that were maintaining social equilibrium.

Instead certain assumptions were (and continue to be) made regarding this problem which include the assertion that stronger social bonds exist in rural areas and that the opportunities to commit crime in these places are relatively limited (Williams, 2001: 304–5). Later applications Explanations of crime that focus on cultural tensions have been adapted to explain the crime rates of minority ethnic communities. Children of firstgeneration immigrants were likely to experience tensions between the values of their parents (derived from their previous country of abode) and those of the host community.

Alternatively, conflict theorists suggest that definitions of crime and deviance are the outcome of a process of political and social conflict. Pluralists root this conflict in the competition between interest groups seeking control of the policy-making agenda, whereas Marxists see it as the inevitable product of inequality born of the class structure in capitalist society whereby actions which pose a threat to the economic dominance and political power of the bourgeoisie are labelled ‘criminal’.

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Criminal justice : an introduction to crime and the criminal justice system by Peter Joyce


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