Marxist theories of Crime and Deviance

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  • Created by: Maria
  • Created on: 17-06-10 16:21

Marxism –

· Traditional:

o Crime is inevitable as the ideology of capitalism creates inequalities which simply drive people to crime. People would be less likely to commit crimes if they did not experience the inequality created by capitalism

o White collar crime is prolific yet hidden, and creates a large economic problem for society. White collar crime is hidden because ‘it leaves no blood on the street’ (Croall). People are not aware of white collar crime, and so it will not be reported and recorded as a crime

· Chambliss (1976):

o Law creation is a process of non-decision making, as issues which hold great significance for the economic state of society will not be discussed should they threaten businesses

o Greed, hostility and self interest of capitalism foster crime, as people believe they must own consumer goods by any means. Crime is simply a means to achieving material wealth

· Gordon (1976):

o The values of capitalism create crimes – competition means that people must commit crimes in order to survive

o The USA legal system protects capitalism by:

§ Implying that there is something intrinsically wrong with offenders to take blame away from capitalism

§ Incarcerating offenders to ensure that the proletariat are never united against capitalism

§ Incarceration and imprisonment is justified, so this system continues without question

o Crime is a rational response to inequalities created by capitalism

· Pearce (1976):


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