Conflict Criminology - Theorists - George Vold

George Vold

Vold suggests, in Theoretical Criminology, approaching an understanding of the social nature of crime as a product of the conflict between groups within the same culture. Humans are naturally social beings, forming groups out of shared interests and needs. The interests and needs of groups interact and produce competition in an increasingly political arena over maintaining and/or expanding one group's position relative to others in the control of necessary resources (money, education, employment, etc.). The challenge for all groups is to control the state for their own sectional interests. Hence, the group which proves most efficient in the control of political processes, obtains the mandate to enact laws that limit the behaviour of other groups and, in some cases, prevent the fulfillment of minority group needs. Although the theory has some interest, it is limited in its application to the criminal law because it is not so much the law that represents sectional interests, but the way in which it is enforced. For example, the definition of theft might remain constant but the allocation of resources to investigate and prosecute theft may be unequally distributed between blue-collar and white-collar versions of the behaviour.

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