Essay on The Marxist Crime Perspective of Conflict Theory

1895 Words 8 Pages
Countless studies from respected sociologists, criminologists, and psychologists have suggested several theories as to why juvenile delinquency exists. The theory this paper uses to explain for juvenile delinquency is the Marxist perspective of the Conflict Theory. What this paper seeks to achieve is to show how this theory is conceptualized, how it causes juvenile delinquency particularly for African Americans, statistics on African American juveniles, and why it could lead to a life of crime as juveniles transition into adulthood. In addition to this, the government will be examined on how it uses the legal system, law enforcement, and certain officials to control most of the population and contribute to this problem.
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According to Onwudiwe (2004), coercive forces against lower class workers on their jobs causes negative effects such as stress, anger, and contempt which they bring back at home and ultimately affects their families, thus leading to juvenile delinquency. Jobs are the means of the working class to acquire the basic necessary resources to survive such as food, water, and shelter for their families. According to Quinney (1977), when the lower classes are unable to earn an honest day’s work or lose their job, after a period of time, they finally break down from all this pressure and resort to crime, to support themself and their loved ones. Children seeing the struggles of their parents then follow in their footsteps leading to juvenile delinquency and later as adults, become more susceptible to crime.
Allen, Latessa, and Ponder (2010) theorize that a juvenile delinquent is a child that has committed a criminal act that if committed by an adult would be punished. The child’s behavior, under the law, would subject those children to the juvenile court and become a ward of the court, subject to its discretion. Allen et al (2010) propose that there were three categories of juveniles which are: status offenders who are offenders that violated some regulation which an adult would not be punished for; children who committed crimes who would be punished if an adult had committed them; and finally unruly juveniles who have proved unmanageable by the family or court