Conflict Perspectives on Deviance
Who determines what kinds of behavior are deviant or criminal? Different branches of conflict theory offer somewhat divergent answers to this question. One branch emphasizes power as the central factor in defining deviance and crime: People in positions of power maintain their advantage by using the law to protect their own interests. Another branch emphasizes the relationship between deviance and capitalism, whereas a third focuses on feminist perspectives and the confluence of race, class, and gender issues in regard to deviance and crime.