Question: Apply the symbolic interactionist, functionalist, and conflict perspectives to the three-strikes laws. For symbolic interactionism,what does these laws represent to the public? How does your answer differ depending on what part of “the public” you are referring to? For functionalism, who benefits from these laws? What are some of their functions? Their dysfunctions? For the conflict perspective, what groups are in conflict?
Who has the power to enforce their will on others? Symbolic interactionist, functionalist, and conflict perspectives as applied to the three- trike laws are theories that were developed to explain deviance such as crimes which are the violation of norms, and the penalties that follows. For the symbolic interactionist: During the 1980s crimes were increasing all over America and people were living in fear.
In order to relieve these fears, politicians, without thinking that some minor crimes were considered felonies, passed the three- strike laws. I think that these laws to the public, represents the lawmakers, they want the “ public“, the people who were living in fear, such business men and people in the communities hat were affected by these crimes. On the other hand the people who committed the crimes are the ones that faces the consequences that follows.
For the functionalist perspective: Because some of the people in our society do not have a set goal in life and they are poor, instead of trying to find the resources that will help them to reach a goal in socially and appropriate ways so that they can function in society, they try to take the easy way out, so, they resort to crimes where they have to pay the penalty of the three- strike law if they already had two previous convictions.
The people who benefit from these laws are the people who implemented them and also the business owners and even people who commit the first two offenses. Some of their functions are to control society, promote unity among people in the communities, and promote social change. Some of the dysfunctions are that some people are given severe punishment that does not fit the crime. Too many people living at the expense of taxpayers when they should be out in society working to support themselves and their families.
For the conflict perspective : The groups that are in conflict are the people that passed these laws (the politicians) and the group that commit the crimes (the poor). The politicians has the power to force their will on others because they want to control the people in society and stabilize social order, so they make certain that people who commit crimes get severe penalties. On the other hand there are people in the power elite group that commit more dangerous crimes and they do not go to jail this helps them to stay powerful and the poor group powerless.
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