SCYL4 AQA Marxism/neo marxism theory of crime and deviance

SCYL4 AQA Marxism/neo marxism theory of crime and deviance

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Traditional MARXISTS
-Based on conflict between the upper and working classes rather than consensus (like functionalists).
-Blame capitalism for crimes as it creates inequality which drives people to crime. Corporate crime is
hidden but creates large economic problems for society white. White collar crime is also hidden as `it
leaves no blood on the street' (Croall), less likely to be reported or recorded.
Chambliss- Capitalism fuels greed, self-interest and hostility
- people believe they must own consumer goods by any means and crime is simply a means to
achieving material wealth. Laws protect the property interests of the emerging capitalist class.
- The ruling class shape beliefs on what is criminal/deviant and ensure that the law protects them.
People fall under a false class conciseness. Found crime in every strata of society but police focused
more on the lower classes
Gordon- the values of capitalism create crimes; competition means that people must commit crimes
in order to survive; crime is a rational response to inequalities created by capitalism. Selective law
enforcement. The USA legal system protects capitalism by:
· Blame and condemnation is placed on individuals rather than the capitalist institutions
· Imprisoning offenders to ensure that the proletariat never unite against capitalism
· Defining criminals as `animals and misfits, as enemies of the state', justifies their incarceration
and keeps them hidden from society,
Gordon concludes that the selective enforcement of the law serves to maintain ruling-class power
Sutherland- identifies that not all crime is committed by white working class males and identifies
white-collar crime as `crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the
course of his occupation' (although W.C. crime goes undetected due to low visibility, complexity,
diffusion of responsibility, diffusion of victimisation- unclear who is responsible or victim)
Snider- corporate crime does more harm than street crimes in terms of both money and crime. In a
typical year in the USA, about 20,00 people are murdered and 600 in Britain (street crime) compared
to 100,00 deaths caused from occupationally induced diseases and thousands of cancer deaths
caused by legal and illegal environmental pollution in the USA. In Britain, workplace accidents account
for 600 death and 12,000 injuries annually. Losses from street crime are around $4 billion each year
in the USA and losses from corporate crime are twenty times greater.

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- is a contemporary Marxist approach to crime and deviance developed by Taylor.
-Based on the idea that criminologists should look at every aspect of crime in detail, including the
reasons behind criminal acts, the role played by the courts, police and mass media, and finally at
politics and capitalism itself.
Taylor, Walton and Young- existing theories do not fully explain criminal behaviour. Crime happens
due to the inequalities created by crime (which is a conscious decision taken by the individual).…read more


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