Marxist theory of crime

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  • Marxist theory of crime
    • Social control
      • Agree with functionalists that social control is essential to keep order.
      • Capitalism requires systems of social control to prevent rebellion and revolution.
      • Gramsci - institutions such as the legal system socialise people in accepting ruling class ideas.
    • Capitalist society
      • Capitalism is 'crimogenic' - it leads to crime.
      • Capitalism exploits the WC which many cause people to commit crimes to buy food, pay rent etc.
      • Working class frustration can lead to violence.
      • Constant desire to make more money can lead to criminal behaviour
    • Laws
      • Laws aren't the will of the people they reflect ruling class interests.
      • Other than the most serious rimes most of UK law is property law.
        • The ruling class use laws to protect private property.
      • Most people have no say in the creation of laws and punishments
      • Snider - legislation regulation large companies is restricted because it could threaten ruling class interests.
      • Pearce - laws which are supposedly in the inters=est of the WC support ruling class interest e.g. health and safety regulations.
    • Ruling Class crime
      • The law is not enforced equally in capitalist society.
      • Ruling class law breakers are less likely to be punished
        • Even if they are charged they have the money to buy the best legal advice.
      • Gordon - selective enforcement and selective representation give the impression that criminals are largely working class.
        • Diverts attention from ruling class crime and makes the working class a target of anger rather than the system itself.


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