Marxist studies on deviancy

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Brake said that WC youths become deviant because they have little chance of getting money by legal means. He said that the WC commit crime out of need and not want. This could be supported by the fact that when we are in a recession, crime statustics appear to rise.

Criticism: Not all young people commit crime for this reason. Some may do it because of peer pressure or just out of fun because they have nothing else to do.

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Hall and Jefferson

They said that youths become deviant to resist capitalist control. Punks resisted the institutions, law and monarchy. We can see this from their music and they had t-shirts printed with defaced pictures of the Queen on. There is also evidence of the spectacular youth subculture being involved in violent protests and spitting in police officer's faces. Right wing skins also resisted capitalist control by causing criminal damage and verbally and physically attacking ethnic minorities because of their deviant and racist beliefs.

Criticism: Many people steal for example because they want it. There aren't always deeper set political reasons for young people being deviant.

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Gordan said that working class deviancy is seen as problematic and that this justifies the strong police presence. This in turn distracts attention from capitalist exploitation. Gordan argues that the media exaggerate the crime committed by the working class by reporting cases over and over again and by using the most shocking and disturbing images and words to grab the readers attention and to alert them to the troublesome working class's behaviour. This then calls for the public to respond negatively to them who then in turn justify why there are so many police on the streets around working class areas and not upper class. This could mean that upper class crimes go unnoticed.

Criticism: It may not necessarily be exaggerated to the extent that Gordan puts forward. Statistics do show that working class as a category commit the most crime in comparison to other social class groups.

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Chambliss and Pearce

Chambliss studied organised crime in Seattle and said that crime was controlled by elite businessmen, political members and the police but that the police overlooked this and concentrated on petty crime. Pearce found deviancy of upper classes was on a much larger scale than that of the working class. They looked at corrupt policemen and said that politicians often bribe the police. This has been shown to happen in the UK and has been reported by the media. There could be cases which happen but that the public don't know about. Pearce individually looked at the crime which the police turned their heads to and said that it tends to be on a much larger scale when committed by the UC with more victims in comparison to WC. UC crime tends to be tax evasion or corporate crime. These unreported crimes therefore become part of the dark figure of crime.

Criticism: This is only a minority and therefore does not account for the majority of the police force.

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Box said the law is selective and scapegoats young males who are working class and black. Similar deviancy of higher classes is overlooked. Box argued that police have a stereotype of who are deviants and who commit crime. By doing this they are giving them a matser status which they would ultimately live up to, if everyone already assumes them and labels them to be a deviant. Statistics show that Afro Carribeans are 8 times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than whites. There is institutional racism within the metropolitan police force. For example, the Stephen Lawrence case as the evidence was contaminated and it took years to secure a conviction. At the time it was assumed that Stephen Lawrence was part of a gang which was untrue. Black culture tends to be more visible. It is a street culture. Box said because of the clothes they wear such as hoodies, police assume they could be concealing weapons. Police often highlight WC crimes frequently but middle class crimes are seen to be a one off, according to Box.

Criticism: Police do not only arrest and convict this stereotype, there are many white males and females charged for crimes too in society.

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Hall individually studied the muggings of the 1970s and said that the media exaggerated the crime wave. The muggins were mostly carried out by WC Afro Carribbeans but some whites. Hall said that the media led us to believe it was only black people committing this crime. According to Hall, Afro Carribbeans were highlighted as being problematic by the media. Furthermore, he said it was a diversion tactic to take attention away from what was happening in the country at the time, such as the recession, the closure of the shipyards and mines and acts being passed which gave women more rights and some men seen this as a threat. Hall said that the tactic of wholly blaming the Afro Carribeans was so that the public weren't focusing on the mess that the government at the time-who are bourgeoisie- were making of the country. This meant that the white proletariat were turnign against the black proletariat and they were being played against each other which caused a divide in the working class. This diluted the power they had together and so were less likely to gain class consciousness. Therefore, the government got off lightly for some of the huge problems they caused.

Criticism: People were still aware of what was happening at the time which prompted strikes and other protests.

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Taylor, Young and Walton

They said that a lack of money and excessive capitalist control could lead to deviancy. However, they also said that young people are still free to choose whether to deviate or not. They said that despite some young people needing to commit crime out of necessity-to survive because they have such little money- the choice to be deviant is theirs. They aregue that people are active and free to choose and that they have the power to change their own lifestyle.

Criticism: Some people live in poverty and therefore have no other option but to get what they need to survive through deviant means-it is not as much of a choice as a final solution.

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