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Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
Marxist perspectives of crime
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Marxist perspectives of crime

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Overview of key ideas in Marxist perspective of crime

Overview of key ideas in Marxist perspective of crime

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  • 1. Marxist perspective of crime <ul><li>By Chris Thompson </li></ul><ul><li>sociologytwynham.wordpress.com </li></ul>
  • 2. Marxist perspectives <ul><li>Labelling theory paved the way in understanding how deviance was something defined by social processes </li></ul><ul><li>In this way social agencies (the judiciary, police etc) defined what is deviant </li></ul><ul><li>Marxists took this further by examining the power of certain social groups to define deviance and create the laws which secured social conformity </li></ul>
  • 3. <ul><li>Marxist see crime and deviance as not coming from moral or biological defects but defects within social order </li></ul><ul><li>Crime is an inevitable part of capitalism as it stems from social inequalities </li></ul><ul><li>Working-class crime is caused by labour exploitation and material misery </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore theft is an expression of that exploitation and is a political act of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie </li></ul>
  • 4. Marxists say...... <ul><li>As anything the ruling class defines as being criminal because it’s in their interests to do so </li></ul><ul><li>The ruling class will violate laws with impunity while members of the subject classes will be punished </li></ul><ul><li>Crime is a reaction to the life conditions of a person’s social class </li></ul>
  • 5. Marxists say...... <ul><li>Crime diverts the working-class’s attention from the exploitation they experience; it contains their resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Crime changes from society to society depending on the political and economic structures of society </li></ul><ul><li>Crime will persist in capitalist societies because they promote inequality and class conflict, and penal law will expand relative to that inequality and exploitation </li></ul>
  • 6. Marxist writers <ul><li>Chambliss - argues that acts are defined as criminal only when it’s in the interest of the ruling class to define them as such </li></ul><ul><li>This means crime and deviance is constructed by the ruling class when they question the exploitation made by those who rule (think of strikes) </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore crime only exists because it is created by those in society whose interests are served by its presence. </li></ul>
  • 7. Marxist writers <ul><li>Box argues that definitions of crime are only ideological constructs </li></ul><ul><li>They do not refer to those behaviours which objectively cause us the most harm, injury and suffering (low pay) </li></ul><ul><li>Instead they refer to only a sub-section of those behaviours committed by young, poorly educated males who are often unemployed, live in working-class impoverished neighbourhoods and frequently belong to an ethnic minority. </li></ul>
  • 8. Synoptic – Marxist social theory <ul><li>Crime is caused by the ‘external’ force of capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>The social inequalities caused by the economic base (capitalism) is determining activity within the superstructure (crime, agents of social control etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Social-class exploitation by the bourgeoisie over the proletariat causes crime </li></ul>
  • 9. <ul><li>By Chris Thompson </li></ul><ul><li>Sociologytwynham.wordpress.com </li></ul>

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