Hypothesis: People in a lower social class have more chances of engaging in crime than those in a higher social class
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Social class- how much do you earn on an annual basis?
Response categories are $0-$1 million+
Crime- have you ever engaged in crime?
Categorical variables are yes or no.
Theoretical perspective: Conflict theory
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The theory asserts that society is characterized by a high level of competition, which is caused by limited resources (Brief et al 831). Thus, individuals are always in a state of conflict and it is difficult to achieve consensus and conformity. In fact, persons in power and with considerable wealth tend to despise the poor. They suppress the powerless through various approaches, especially economically (Brief et al 838).
The perspective would explain the hypothesis by contending that people in a lower class would result to crime because they are always in conflict with the rich people in the community (Rose 89). In so doing, they think that they could revenge and attempt to be like those in a higher social class. The theoretical perspective adopts the following assumptions:
- Society is characterized by significant levels of capitalism.
- Inequality exists on the premises of gender, race and religion, among others.
- Dominant groups are treated better than minority groups.
In order to assess whether the hypothesis is supported, it would be essential to collect and analyze data from a given sample of the population. If a significant proportion of the sample would be found to belong to the lower class and engage in crime, then the hypothesis would be supported. Otherwise, the null hypothesis would be accepted.
Hypothesis: Men are more likely to commit homicide
Response categories are the gender of persons, i.e. male or female.
Homicide- Did an individual commit homicide? The possible responses would be yes or no.
Theoretical perspective: Symbolic interaction
Society is characterized by continuous interactions among people in different social classes (Rose 34). The commonly utilized approach to communicating ideas in different settings is symbolic communications strategy, which adopts specific symbols to represent certain values and norms. During interactions, human beings learn that they are quite different and that they are ever changing (Rose 56).
For example, there are members of society who have poor communication skills. Thus, they hardly express their feelings to their friends, family members and co-workers. However, the theory argues that people behave in certain ways due to their beliefs (Rose 78). For instance, some people could believe that sharing their feelings with their colleagues would lead them to more problems. The perspective would explain the hypothesis by asserting that men are more likely to hide their negative feelings about their colleagues than women. Thus, they would have more chances of committing homicide with the aim of eliminating other people that they feel should not be in society. The perspective adopts the following assumptions:
- Individual interactions are dominant in the community
- Micro level interactions are more important than macro level interactions
- Human beings are always social
- Men vary based on the conditions in the environment
In order to test the hypothesis, sufficient data would be collected and analyzed. If a significant number of study respondents would be found to be men who commit homicide, then the hypothesis would be supported. Otherwise, the null hypothesis would be accepted.
Brief, Arthur P., Elizabeth Umphress, Joerg Dietz, John Burrows, Rebecca Butz, and Lotte Scholten. “Community matters: Realistic group conflict theory and the impact of diversity.” Academy of Management Journal 48.5 (2005): 830-844. Print.
Rose, Arnold M. Human behavior and social processes: An interactionist approach. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.