Marxist Theories of Crime & Deviance 2

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  • Marxist theories of crime & deviance 2
    • Neo-Marxism: Critical Criminology
      • Neo Marxists are sociologists who have been influenced by Marxist ideas but they combine them with ideas from other approaches such as labelling theory
        • The most important neo Marxist contribution to understandin crime and deviance comes from 'The New Criminology' by Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young (1973)
      • Taylor et al. (1973)
        • Taylor et al. (1973) agrees with Marxists that:
          • Capitalist society is based on exploitation and class conflict and characterised by extreme inequalities of wealth and power and understandin this is the key to understandin crime
          • The state makes and enforces laws in the interest of the upper class and criminalises the WC
          • Capitalism should be replaced by a classless society which would reduce or remove crime from society
        • Views by Taylor et al differ from traditional Marxism and much of critical criminology is a criticism of existing theoris of C&D
          • Argues that Marxism is deterministic and that crime is voluntary, conscious and meaningful action committed by individuals who are trying to change society
        • Aimed to create a 'fully social theory of deviance' that would help change society for the better
      • Neo Marxism critical criminology evaluation
        • Weaknesses
          • Feminists criticise the approach for being gender blind and focusing too much on male criminality
          • Left realists criticise this approach, arguing that they 'romanticise the offender, depicting WC criminals as Robin Hoods.' However, WC people tend to be the victim of WC crime
        • Strengths
          • Hall et al is evidence to support the idea that criminal behaviour can have a wider social context
    • Crime of the powerful
      • Sutherland (1949)
        • Coined the term 'white collar' crime and aimed to challenge the stereotype that crime is a purely lower class phenomenon
        • Argued that crime is often committed by persons operating through large and powerful organisations
      • Tombs (2013)
        • Claims that white collar and corporate crime do far more harm than 'ordinary' or 'street' crimes such as theft
        • Notes that corporate crime has enormous costs such as:
          • Physical (deaths, injuries, illnesses)
          • Enviromental (pollution)
          • Economic (to consumers, workers, taxpayers and governments)
      • Types of corporate crimes
        • Financial crimes
          • Tax evasion and money laundering
        • Crimes against consumers
          • False labelling and false advertisement
        • Crimes against employees
          • Discrimination and health and safety regulations
        • Crimes against the environment
          • Pollution into the environment
        • State-corporate crime
          • Where the government working alongside a company commits crime e:g in the Iraq war a PMC was found to be torturing POWs


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