Marxist Theories - Traditional Marxism

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  • Marxist Theories - Traditional Marxism
    • Structure of the capitalist society explains crime.
      • Crime is inevitable in capitalism.
      • Based on the exploittation of the WC - whatever it takes to get a profit.
      • Poverty may mean that crime is the only way the WC can survive - LONDON RIOTS
      • Crime may be the only way they can gain access to the material goods advertised by the capitalist society - utilitarian crimes such as theft.
      • Lack of control over there lives may lead to frustration / aggression resulting in non-utilitarian crime.
      • David Gordon - crfime is a national response to the capitalist system and so is found in all social classes - official statistics work it out to be a WC phenomenom.
      • White Collar Crimes - a crime committed by someone of a high status committed i his occupation.
        • JIMMY CARR - tax avoidance but got off lightly.
        • Wall Street Crash - Fraud
      • Ruiling class get away with it much easier.
      • Crime takes place in both WC and ruling class but the law is harsher with WC offenders.
    • Ideological functions of crime and law.
      • Some laws benefit workers - health and safety laws.
      • Frank Pearce - argues that such laws benefit the ruling class too - keeping workers fit for work. by giving capitalism a 'caring face' creating a false consciousness among the workers.
      • Beacuse the state enforces laws selectively, crime appears to be largely WC - divides the WC encouraging workers to blame WC criminals for their problems not capitalism.
      • Media and criminologists portray criminals as disturbed individuals, concealing the fact that it is the nature of capitalism that makes people criminals.
      • +  Labelling theory put into a wider structural context regarding selective enforcement of the law.
      • + Shows link between law making and enforcement and the capitalist ideas.
      • - Ignores non-class inequalities such as ethnicity and gender.
      • - Too deterministic
      • - Not all capitalist societies have high crime rates - Japan + Switzerland have much less crime than USA.


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