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Examine some of the ways in which Marxists explain crime.

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  • Essay length: 1165 words
  • Submitted: 24/02/2012
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AS and A Level Crime & Deviance

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Examine some of the ways in which Marxists explain crime

Marxist theories of crime, including the more recent neo-Marxist theories, are conflict approaches. They see society based on conflict between social classes, and social inequality caused by capitalism as the driving force behind crime.

Traditional Marxists say that capitalism causes crimes, the term we use for this is criminogenic capitalism; capitalism, by its very nature causes crime. Crime and deviance are systematically created by the structure of capitalist society, the ruling class exploit the working class as they own the means of production. It breeds competition and commodity fetishism, whereby people gain a desire for material things. The people in question become obsessed with personal gain and coming out on top, breaking the law is a small price to pay for the reward of success. David Gordon argues that crime is a response to the capitalist system and is found in every single part of the class structure, even if the official statistics mark it out to be a working class problem.

Marxists see law making and law enforcement as serving the interest of capitalism, Chambliss argues that law to protect private property are made to

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