outline and assess the view that most crime is committed by the working class

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  • Outline and assess the view that most crime is committed by the working class.
  • Official statistics focus on the crimes of working class men. Marxists do not agree whereas other sociologists do. Lots of work on crime and deviance has focused on the crimes of the working classes (not many other classes)
    • 1) Official Statistics. Socially constructed. Anderson- Demeanour. Collison- promotion. Heidensohn- chivalry
      • 2) Corporate and occupational crime. Taylor- globalisation. Sutherland- crimes committed in offices. Pearce and Tombs- cigarette and alcohol production. Great western trains. Criticisms- The law has not changed. Corporate crime can not be proven
        • 3) traditional Marxism. Marx- wrote little but 5 key points to understand. Bonger- capitalism is based on selfishness and greed=causes crime. Crime is also caused by poverty. Laws benefit ruling class but could benefit the majority. Chambliss- vagrancy laws (links with Bonger). The CCCS- Brake and magical solutions. Criticisms- Cohen- Marxism is biased found what they wanted to.
          • 4) New Criminology. Taylor et al- fusion of Marxism and interactions. Labelling theory. The behaviour of the victim, offender, media and CJ system all interact here. Stuart Hall- muggings 1970s Afro-Caribbean males scapegoated by police (criticised for not talking to anyone who was arrested) lead to left realism- working class people are often the majority of the victims of crime too.
            • 5) functionalist. Merton- strain theory, achieving goals. Cohen- status frustration, 'lower-class' boys tried to emulate middle-class values (inverted them). Coward and Ohlin- illegitimate opportunity structure, criminal, conflict, retreatist. Bourgeois- El Barrio. Supports illegitimate opportunity structure. Right realism- broken windows.
              • conclusion


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