Criminology - Marxist theories of crime and deviance

I made this mindmap for anybody learning about Marxist theories of crime, it is useful for those studying criminology or sociology.

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  • Marxists theory of crime and deviance
    • Karl Marx
      • Bourgeoisie (Upper class)
        • Own means of production - Exploit the working class and control their ideas through dominant ideology
          • Means of production are needed to make society's goods
      • Proletariat (Lower class)
        • Exploited by the Bourgeoisie - Don't own means of production - Kept in a state of false conciousness through dominant ideology
          • Conflict occurred to due explotation of the Proletariat by the bourgeoisie
      • Sees society as determined by an economic system - Structuralist theory
        • Example - French Revolution
    • David Gordon
      • Suggested that the majority of working class crime is a rational response to inequalities
      • Capitalism is crimneogenic = encourages criminal behaviour among everybody
        • Poorer groups in society develop a 'culture of envy' which could encourage them to act in a criminal manner.
    • Chambliss
      • States that laws made to protect private properties are a the biggest issue
    • Snider
      • The state is reluctant to pass laws that threaten the profitability of businesses
    • Reiman
      • States in his book that crime committed by middle class people will be treated as less of a criminal offence
    • Bonger
      • Selective law enforcement = Laws are made to favour the rich and punish the poor
  • Why was the Marxist theory good?
    • Inspired the welfare state which has helped to provide people with a free national health service
  • Why was the Marxist theory bad?
    • There was too much focus on money and too much conflict occurred
      • Focused only on poor people who committed crime, though it is not only poor people who commit crime (White collar crime)


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