Marxist Theory- Crime and Deviance

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  • Marxism
    • The State and Law Making
      • Laws serve Capitalist class
        • Chambliss- laws which protect private property are cornerstone of capitalist economy
        • Snider- capitalist state is reluctant to pass laws which regulate businesses or their profitability
      • Selective Enforcement
        • Crime of the powerful are ignored, but working class and ethnic minorities are criminalised, even though more crimes are committed by the Capitalist class
    • Criminogenic Capitalism
      • Capitalism causes crime. This is because poverty may mean crime is the only way the poor can survive. Also, crime may be the only way to obtain consumer goods.
        • Alienation and a lack of control may lead to frustration and aggression,and then lead to crime such as violence or vandalism
        • Capitalism =ruthless, so capitalists are encouragedto commit white collar crime
        • David Gordon- crime is a rational response to the capitalist system, which is why it's found in all classes
    • Ideological functions of crime and law
      • Laws passed benefit Capitalism, such as health and safety. Frank Pearce- these benefit RC as it keeps workers fit for work, but also makes RC look caring too
        • However, H&S rules aren't really enforced, so crime appears WC
    • Evaluation
      • Theory ignores other crime factors, such as gender and ethnicity
      • Not all Capitalist Cultures are criminal- such as Japan, has very low crime rate
      • Theory ignores intra-crimes, and only focuses on crimes of the powerful


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