Marxist theories on crime and deviance

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  • Created by: Harriet
  • Created on: 05-06-13 20:30
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  • Marxist Theories
    • Traditional Marxism
      • Criminogenic capitalism
        • Crime is inevitable in capitalism as it is criminogenic (its nature causes crime)
          • Capitalism exploits the W/C
            • Crime may be the only way of obtaining consumer goods that capitalism advertises
            • In poverty crime may be the only way to survive
            • Alienation may cause frustration-leading to non-utilitarian crime
          • Ruling class  crime is a result of the dog-eat-dog system of greed= corporate crime
      • The State and law making
        • Selective eonforcement
          • Reiman- laws of the powerful are more likely to be ignored. While W/C crime there are higher rates of prosecution
        • Serves the interests of the R/C
          • Chambliss- Private property laws
      • Ideological functions of crime and law
        • Pearce-There are a few laws that seem to benefit workers. But they also benefit capitalism and create a false consciousness
      • Evaluation
        • It ignores inequalities in ethnicity and gender
        • Japan and Switzerland have low crime rates and they are capitalist
        • The CJS does sometimes prosecute against the R/C
    • Neo-Marxism: Critical criminology
      • A fully social theory of deviance
        • To understand and change society need to combine....
          • Traditional Marxist ideas  about unequal distribution of wealth and who has power to make law
          • Labelling theory ideas about the meaning of the act for the actor, societal reaction and the effect of the deviant label
      • Evaluation
        • Left realists say it romanticises criminals as 'Robin Hoods'
        • Feminists argue it is gender blind
      • Vouluntarism
        • They believe that we have free will so crime is a conscious choice often with a political motive e.g to redistribute wealth to change society
      • Taylor et al agree much with traditional Marxism but see it as too deterministic


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