Marxism and Crime

In: Social Issues

Submitted By tameca09
Words 2328
Pages 10
Item B
Marxists do not see the law as a reflection of a value consensus among society’s members. Instead they see the law as a tool of the ruling class, the police and other social control agencies as paid agents of the ruling class, and crime as an inevitable outcome of the dog-eat-dog nature of the capitalist system, and the inequalities it generates. Crime also serves as a diversionary tactic, it diverts attention away from the exploitation and inequalities within the capitalism system and focuses the minds of the proletariat on deviants and criminals who are then mistakenly blamed for being the real cause of problems in society. However there are several variations in Marxist ideas on crime. Neo Marxists have developed critical criminology which has attempted to incorporate labelling theory and Brake has used subcultural theory to explain the attraction of youth groups.
Assignment 2 – Using material from Item B and elsewhere assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches in explaining crime
The traditional Marxist belief is a structural one as they see society as being based on a structure, this structure being determined and controlled by one of the two groups that they believe society is divided into. These two groups are the ruling capitalist class (bourgeoisie) who own the means of production, and the working class (proletariat) whose alienated labour the ruling class exploit to make profit. Item B draws on this point as it says “they see the law as a tool of the ruling class.” There are several variations in Marxist ideas on crime (Item B). Traditional Marxists talk more about the criminogenic nature of capitalism and the way the state makes and enforces laws in the interest of the ruling class and the way crime is used in an ideological way to support the ruling class’ power. However Neo-Marxists have developed critical criminology which has attempted to…...

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