Considering the differences between culture conflict theories and culture consensus theories, which of these perspectives do you feel does a better job at explaining the race and crime relationship?
The culture conflict theory stipulates that human actions in the framework of social interactions are shaped by the conflicts between competing groups. It holds that different groups compete for limited resources and have unequal power, with the dominant group wanting to maintain the status quo and the competing groups challenging it.
Culture consensus theory is a measurement framework for the assessment of cultural beliefs held among a group of individuals or society as a whole.
In the context of the relationship between race and crime, the culture conflict theory does a better job at explaining the social dynamics involved. Take for instance these two aspects of race and crime:
- Disproportionate sentencing guidelines between pure and crack cocaine (even though there is no scientific difference between the dangers and effects of the drugs).
- Unconstitutional and illegal racial profiling by law enforcement.
Both these social dynamics and many more can be explained within the context of the culture conflict theory.