Essay about Crime and Deviance

1119 Words Feb 12th, 2013 5 Pages
Evaluate Marxist explanations of Crime and Deviance
Labelling theory paved the way in understanding how deviance was something defined by social processes. In this way social agencies such as the police defined what was deviant. Marxists took this view even further by examining the power of certain social groups to define deviance and create the laws which secured social conformity.
Marxists see crime and deviance as not coming from moral or biological defects but defects within social order. Crime is an inevitable part of capitalism as it stems from social inequalities. Working-class crime is caused by labour exploitation and material misery. Therefore theft is an expression of that exploitation and is a political act of the proletariat
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Marxists believe crime is caused by the ‘external’ force of capitalism. The social inequalities caused by the economic base (capitalism) ,is determining activity within the superstructure (crime, agents of social control etc).Social-class exploitation by the bourgeoisie over the proletariat causes crime.
Marxist Theorists believe that the values of capitalism are individualism, competition and consumerism but these create a society which doesn’t care enough about one another. Frustrations of being on a long income can create the opportunities to commit crime.
Gordon argues that capitalism causes class inequalities in wealth, income, employment, homelessness and poverty. Low income and low status work lead to status frustration and sometimes to crimes of power for example domestic violence and rape.
Althusser said that the law is ideological state apparatus which makes sure it remains normal to have some that are obscenely wealthy and others in society that are obscenely poor. And this demonstrates how capitalism and the ruling class maintain their power over the lower classes.
Manheim argued that the law protects private property and therefore protects the wealthy and profit the rich. He went on to say that criminal law is an alliance between corporate

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