Traditional Marxism and crime and deviance

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  • 1.Traditional Marxism and crime and deviance Crime is a product of poverty Crime is brought about by capitalism
  • 2.MANIPULATION OF VALUES Manipulation of the basic values and morality of a society Society is dominated and controlled by those at the helm Control is maintained via the socialisation process and threat
  • 4.LAW CREATION Functionalists: law reflects the will of the people Marxists: law is a reflection of the will of the powerful As economic power guarantees political and social power, the rich can manipulate the rest of us and pass laws that benefit them They ‘set the agenda’
  • 5.LAW CREATION Public Order and Criminal Justice Act (1994) Takes away civil liberties from the majority and limits the powers of the protest Since 9/11, a raft of Anti-Terror legislation has been enacted, limiting freedoms we once took for granted. Like the Prevention of Terrorism Act (designed to combat the IRA during the 1970s), it has been enforced against many others, criminalising people engaged in simple acts of protest.
  • 6.LAW ENFORCEMENT ‘Street crime’ is more likely to be pursued by police than ‘white collar’ crime Intensified policing and punishment of poorer individuals and communities The poor are filtered into the criminal justice system while the rich are filtered out
  • 7.INDIVIDUAL MOTIVATION FOR CRIME In capitalist societies the cultural stress in on competition, not cooperation, and the acquisition of wealth Desire for money can lead those who are blocked off from legitimate chances of gaining wealth to turn to criminal methods (anomie) Greed is built into the capitalist system
  • 8.CRITICISMS Left idealism Ignore the consequences for the victims of street crime Street crime tends to be intra-class, not inter-class
  • 9.CRITICISMS Seems to suggest that the high rate of recorded crime among the working class, youth and blacks is solely the outcome of biased policing At the same time they argue the laws are biased against the working class, forcing them into crime Not all laws are in the interests of the ruling-class only
  • 10.CRITICISMS On the one hand it suggests that working-class people are simply innocent people who are picked on by the police On the other hand it suggests that working class people who engage in crime are really engaged in political action by opposing the capitalist system
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