Traditional Marxist Perspectives on Crime

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  • Marx Argued that the laws were generally codified means by which one class, the rulers, kept another class, the rest of us in check.
  • Marxists agree with functionalist that socialisation plays a crucial role in promoting conformity and order. However they are highly critical of the ideas, values and norms of capitalist society.
  • Modern Marxists point to education and the media as socialising agencies, which mystify the working class into conforming to a social order which works against its interests.
  • Basic beliefs:
  • Deviance is partly the product of unequal power relations and inequality in general.
  • Its is an understandable response to situation of poverty.
  • See power as largely being held by those who own the factors of production.
  • Crime is often the result of offering society-demeaning work with little sense of creativity.
  • The superstructure serves the ruling class
  • The state passes laws, which support ruling class interests. Maintain its power, coerce and control of the proletariat. They see individual property right as much more securely established in law than the collective right, such as, the trade unions.
  • Laws passed reflect the wishes and ideologies of the ruling classes.
  • People have unequal access to the law. Having money to hire a good lawyer can mean the difference between be found guilty or innocent.
  • For Marxists, punishments for a crime may depend and vary according to the social class of the perpetrator.
  • Who


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