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3 Levels of Society Essay

Society consists of three levels: the upper, middle, and lower class. This was established by philosophers Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Marx stated his views, known as the Marxist Theory. The Marxist view of scientific socialism was based on the short writings and views from two social scientists. The theory conceived by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels provided theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to gain a higher class in society. “They viewed crime as function of social demoralization, caused by the Capitalist society. While Karl Marx himself did not write much on the topic of crime, his views on the relationship between the concept of social conflict, this concept was first applied to criminology by three distinguished scholars: Willem Bonger, Ralf Dahrendorf, and George Vold.” (Pg. 269 Seigel Larry J.).

Willem Bonger had the belief that society was divided into two groups, the “have’s” or “the ruling class” and the “have not’s” or “the inferior class”. The law is supposed to protect all classes of society, but in reality the law serves the will of the ruling class. Unless a situation is in a potentially harmful way of the ruling class, no actions are taken. But when actions such as crime affect the people of power and something has to be done, the legal system discriminates against the poor because of the capitalist society. Being the lower class, people are deprived of materials and are still monopolized by the upper class, they now are more likely to commit crime.

Ralf Dahrendorf argued that society of today was organized into imperatively coordinated associations. There are two associations who make up society, the people who have authority and us it for social domination and then there’s those who lack authority and are dominated. He says that society needs to step away from the ruling of classes and adhere to the idea of authority. Ralf states that society is made up of competing interest groups and formed his own theory on human behavior called the “conflict theory”. This theory is based off of a few ideas, such as, social change is everywhere, social conflict is everywhere, and every element in society iis a contribution to its own change.

George Vold argued that the laws are made to help politically orienteered groups, who seek aid by the government. They need help protecting their rights and interests so they need someone with forceful power to help. He feels that a law can be created be enough people who share the same view and interests. In the end every case and criminal situation involves conflict of some sort.

Crime is viewed as a social demoralization, as stated earlier. All three of these distinguished scholars had their own theories, overlapping in belief or not, on how society and crime worked. Willem Bonger believed society was divided into two groups, the “haves” and the “Have nots”. Ralf Dahrendorf argued that society was organized into imperatively coordinated associations. And George Vold said that the laws were/are made to help politically orienteered groups, who seek aid by the government.


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