Neo-Marxisms: critical criminology
Been influenced by Marxist ideas, combine w/ ideas from other approaches eg labelling theory.
The New Criminology - Taylor, Walton + Young (1973. Taylor et al agree w/ Marxists that:
- capitalist society based on exploitation + class conflict + characterised by extreme inequalities of wealth + power. Understanding this key to understanding crime.
- state makes + enforces laws in interests of capitalist class + criminalises members of w/c.
- capitalism should be replaced by classless society - would reduce extent of crime/rid society of crime entirely.
Differ from Marxists - describe approach as critical criminology.
Taylor et al argue Marxism deterministic b/c sees workers as driven to commit crime out of econ necessity.
Reject explanation - more voluntaristic view. See crime as meaningful action + conscious choice by actor. Argue crime often has political motive. Criminals not passive puppets whose behaviour shaped by capitalism: deliberately striving to change society.
A fully social theory of deviance
Taylor et al aim to create 'fully social theory of deviance'. 2 main sources:
- M ideas about uneq distribution of wealth + who has power to make + enforce law
- Interactionist + labelling ideas about meaning of deviant act for actor, societal reactions to it, + effects of deviant label on individual.
This view, complete theory of deviance needs to unite 6 aspects:
- wider origins of deviant act
- immediate origins of deviant act
- act itself
- immediate origins of societal reaction
- wider origins of societal reaction
- effects of labelling
6 aspects interrelated + need to be understood together as part of unified theory.
Evaluation of critical criminology
Left realists criticisms:
- romanticises w/c criminals as 'Robin Hoods'.
- don't take crime seriously, ignore effects on w/c victims