Marxism and Crime (Essay plan)

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  • Created by: Kayleigh
  • Created on: 13-01-15 12:30


The law is used to socialise people which benefits capitalism.

The law is only enoforced on the working class.

The middle class are exempt from it as agents of social control are biased against the working class.

They believe that official statistics are invalid and say that capitalists are the real criminals but explain working class crime as being due to capitalist culture being criminogenic.

Marxists have been criticised by Neo-Marxists as well as Left Realists.

Capitalists will define behaviours or activities as illegal if it affects them making money or will make things illegal if they can profit from it (such as fines for speeding).

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Second paragraph

Marxists argue that the working class are never in a position to succeed in capitalist society and that crime is one of their only outlets and opportunities for success.

This is because of the alienation from capitalist society, especially young wokring class males, lash out at the system that victimizes them, through crime, and this in turn leads to high amount of working class males being represented in the criminal statistics.

Marxists argue that the ruling class (bourgeoisie) commit all the corporate crime (committed in businesses) they want without punishment, but the overall less damaging crime of the proletariat is harshly punished.

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Third paragraph

From a left realist perspective, the cultural issues of relative deprivation and individualism have, according to Jock Young ' caused the working class area to implode upon itself', the working class start off from a lower position than others, and commit crimes, mainly against each other because of their poor background.

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fourth paragraph

In conclusion, it is apparent and obvious that white collar and blue collar crimes are treated differently by the authorities. Blue collar crime is treated more harshly, with more money being spent to prevent it (with things like CCTV etc), a larger amount of arrests, convictions, and sentences for working class members, whereas white collar crime is often treated extremely leniently, because of its privatized and somewhat lesser known nature, it Is often only given warnings, short prison sentences, or fines. The reasons this are much argued and varied, but it is most likely a combination of cultural problems, deprivation of the working class forcing them to be aggressive to gain what comes easier to the middle class, unequal societal values, working class being alienated and starting from a lower position than the middle class, and the fact that the ruling class often do not seek to punish high status figures, and would rather stimulate moral panics about the seemingly less threatening ' middle class folk devils'

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