Conflict theories obtain that conflicts are the causes of crime or criminal behavior (Sigel, 2011). These conflicts may be social, economical, class, or political, but the cause is the difference in power or wealth within a given social system. The difference is based on the fact that each side of the divide has different ideals, aspirations, and desires. Consequently, conflicts ensue whenever these ideals, aspirations, and desires clash and such conflict invariably lead to crime. For example, while those in power look for ways to impose more taxes, the citizens will always look for ways to avoid such taxes.
Radical theory or radical criminology posits that social and economical factors lead to crime (Sigel, 2011).The theory has its origins in Marxism or the works of Karl Marx, who highlighted the conflict between those who owned and controlled the means of production (the ruling class) and those without such means (proletariat). In order to preserve and protect their wealth, Marx argues that the ruling class made laws, which by and large infringed the rights of the proletariat. Since the only way the proletariat would fight for their rights is breaking these laws, crime arose. Accordingly, the theory illustrates that the social and economical structure can lead to crime. For example, low income areas are more prone to crime than middle income or upper class areas.
Siegel, L. J. (2012). Criminology (11th Edition). CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Print.
Atkinson, P. and Housley, W. (2003). Interactionism. London: SAGE Publications. Print.