Conflict theory’s assumptions: competition for scare resources and the struggle for power are at the heart of all social interactions
Examples are abundant: child abuse, terrorism, sexism, strikes, economic control of populace by big banks, etc..
they don’t deny that some social relationships are ‘functional’ but ask the bigger question, ‘For whom are they functional’? Not all social relationships are positive for the society (functionalist’s perspective) -example of rules in prison
As socially accepted definitions change (example: being ‘gay’ or ‘immigrant’) our behaviour changes. This change is the result of the shift in attitudes that people create because they have redefined what X means.
In research, symbolic interactionists must spend vast amounts of time attempting to understand how their subjects perceive their world since their starting point is that no objective reality is possible because we assign meaning
Theories and research have been ANDROCENTRIC in traditional sociology
Research done on males does not reveal the female reality
Example: major theories of crime are based on research into men’s lives and poorly explain why women turn to crime. Social inequalities poor, homeless, drug addicts) are ideas supported by BOTH the powerful and powerless (the latter ‘buy into’ their own victimization)
unequal power relationships between men and women are easily explained by conflict theory
example: the pill, women in the workforce, babies, daycare and the economy
female juveniles serve longer prison sentences even for less serious crimes
precocious sexuality gets young women in trouble more than their male counterparts
Gender On 31 December 1999, a review of CSC's offender management system revealed that the majority of homicide offenders listed to date are male (96.6%). There were 211 (4.4%) cases of a female offender for whom a homicide offence was listed.