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critical criminology

The view that crime is a product of the capitalist system.

conflict theory

The view that crime is a function of class conflict and power relations. Laws are created and enforced by those in power to protect their own interests.


The ability of persons and groups to control the behavior of others, to shape public opinion, and to define deviance.

instrumental Marxist

One who sees criminal law and the criminal justice system as capitalist instuments for controlling the lower class.


To unmask the true purpose of law, justice, or other social institutions.

structural Marxism

Based on the belief that criminal law and the criminal justice system area means of defending and preserving the capitalist system.

surplus value

The difference between what workers produce and what they are paid, which goes to business owners as profits.


Displacement of workers, pushing them outside the economic and social mainstream.


The process of creating a global economy through transnational markets and political and legal systems.

left realism

Approach that sees crime as a function of relative deprivation under capitalism and favors pragmatic, community-based crime prevention and control.

preemptive deterrence

Efforts to prevent crime through community organization and youth involvement.

critical feminism

Approach that explains both victimization and criminality among women in terms of gender inequality, patriarchy, and the exploitation of women under capitalism.



paternalistic families

Father is breadwinner and rule maker; mother has menial job or is homemaker only. Sons are granted greater freedom than daughters.

role exit behaviors

Strategies such as running away or contemplating suicide used by young girls unhappy with their status in the family.

egalitarian families

Husband and wife share similiar positions of power at home and in the work place. Sons and daughters have equal freedom.

power-control theory

The view that gender differences in crime are a function of economic power (class position, one-versus two-earner families) and parental control (paternalistic versus eqalitarian families).


The use of language elements as sighns or symbols beyond their literal meaning.

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