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Criminogenic capitalism
· Crime is inevitable as crime is criminogenic ­ its very
nature causes crime. Capitalism exploits the working
class. Working class will commit crime as:
­ They are in poverty, they need to survive
­ Only way to obtain consumer goods ­ results in
utilitarian crimes such as theft
­ Alienation and lack of control leads to frustration and
aggression ­ results in non-utilitarian crimes such as
violence and vandalism
· Also, encourages capitalists to commit white collar and
corporate crimes: tax evasion and breaches of health
and safety laws.…read more

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The state and law making
· Marxists see law making and law enforcement
as only serving interests of the capitalist class.
· Chambliss argues that laws to protect private
property are the main issue ­ 80-90% of laws
protect private property. Ruling class has the
power to prevent introduction of laws that would
threaten their interests.
· Snider argues that the state is reluctant to pass
laws that regulate activities of businesses or
threaten their profitability.…read more

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Selective enforcement
· There is selective enforcement when its come to
the application of the law by the criminal justice
system ­ working class and the ethnic minorities
are criminalised but the police and courts tend to
ignore the crimes of the powerful.
· Reiman's book `The Rich gets richer and the
Poor get prison' shows that crime committed by
middle class people will be less likely to be
treated as a criminal offence.…read more

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Ideological functions of crime and
· Laws are occasionally passed to appear to
benefit working class rather than
capitalism, workplace health and safety
laws ­ Pearce see such laws create a
false consciousness among the workers.
· Carson found from 200 firms all had
broken health and safety laws at once, but
only a tiny proportion (1.5%) of cases
resulted in prosecution.…read more

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Evaluation of Marxism
· Criticisms:
­ Largely ignores relationship between crime and
important non-class inequalities (ethnicity and gender)
­ Marxists think capitalism causes working class
commit crime, but not all poor people commit crime
­ Not all capitalist societies have high crime rates:
Japan and Switzerland have less crime than USA.
­ Criminal justice system does sometimes act against
the interests of the middle class ­ but Marxist argue it
performs an ideological function to make the system
look impartial
­ Left realists argue that Marxists focuses largely on the
crimes of the powerful and ignores intra-class crimes
(where victim and criminal are both poor) ­ burglary
and mugging…read more

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