• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline & Evaluate the Marxist view of crime (45 Marks)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline & Evaluate the Marxist view of crime (45 Marks) Marxism is based on the fact that all institutions of society are set up and run to benefit the bourgeoisie, because the upper class dominates society. The upper class' main concern is to maintain profit and control within their institutions. The upper class controls the organisation that passes laws in the country and will pass laws merely to benefit their pockets. Actions that are defined as criminal are decided on by the upper class. According to Marxists, justice is a ruling class myth because of the large amount of bias in the justice system. They also argue that the police force is an agent of the upper class and that the police focus on working class crime as it's easy to target on the streets. This makes the lower classes look more criminal-like. When upper class criminals are caught they are given more lenient sentences than the working class as judges tend to be brought up within an upper class family. The nature of a capitalist society encourages working class citizens to commit crime because it generates greed and a dog eat dog attitude. ...read more.

Middle

Laws are also passed which do have an affect on the higher classes, otherwise too many crimes like fraud would be carried out and left alone so that corporate and white collar crime would spiral out of control and our society would not benefit from this. Functionalists look at crime differently and say that our society is run using a value consensus, where rules are not imposed but everyone has a general agreement on what is right on wrong. Another way in which Marxists contribute to our understanding of crime is by explaining how the upper class controls the criminal justice system. All classes in the hierarchy commit crime yet the working class are more likely to be caught and punished due to working class crimes such as burglary and drug offences tend to take place in the public domain and are easier to police. The police also tend to focus on working class areas as the official statistics suggest that the working class commit more crime than any other class. Sutherland argues that white collar crimes and corporate crimes tend to go unnoticed as these crimes are never committed within the public domain. ...read more.

Conclusion

Crime is seen as a rational response to breakdown in a capitalist society. Crime is not an activity that is only seen in a capitalist type of society, communistic run governments will also experience crime. Switzerland is also a capitalist society yet experiences one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Neo Marxists accuse Marxists of economic determinism, arguing that human behaviour is determined by the economic system, plus ignoring the ability of humans making rational choices, determining their own fate. Also, many working class citizens do not commit crime; they go about life using legitimate means. Marxists tend to focus on the link between crime and class, yet they ignore influences such as ethnicity and gender. The Marxist view of crime has been very influential and highlights some important issues present in the criminal justice system. It is difficult to criticise the Marxist perspective of crime, as a lot of it can be explained by false class consciousness. However, it has been criticised as being a one sided debate and ignored other social variables that are relevant and should be included. The Marxist view also tends to ignore real causes and damage. The Marxist perspective of crime is still useful as class is still relevant in today's society and reveals that middle class crime may be largely underestimated. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    We must also become more tolerant of diversity and cease stereotyping whole groups of people as criminal. Left realists have had more influence on government policy than most theories on crime. They have similarities with the new labour stance of tough on crime, tough on causes of crime.

  2. Critically evaluate Marxists contributions to the study of crime and deviance.

    S.Hall in his work about policing the crisis it projects the view that "one of the effects of retaining the notion of 'moral panic' is the penetration it provides into the otherwise extremely obscure means by which the working classes are drawn into processes which are occurring in large measure

  1. Assess the view that crime is functional, inevitable and normal

    Since the protests began there has been an increase in criminal activity such as vandalism, looting, drive-by shootings and sexual assault. In opposition to the argument that crime is functional, inevitable and normal, Robert Merton's strain theory is contradictory to this statement.

  2. Assess the view that crime is functional, inevitable and normal.

    A high crime rate is an indication of a social system that has failed to adapt to change. Individuals, who anticipate necessary adjustments of social morality to changing conditions, may be stigmatised as criminals at first. Crime is the precondition and the proof of a society's capacity for flexibility in the face of essential change.

  1. Assess the right realist view that crime is the result of biological rational factors ...

    It causes crime by encouraging the pursuit of self-interest at the expense of others. For left realists, increasing individualism is causing the disintegration of families and communities by undermining the values of mutual support and selflessness on which they are based.

  2. How influential is the media in shaping public understanding of crime?

    This has been a constantly recurring theme. A different concern about media representation of crime has worried liberals and radicals. To them the media are the cause not of crime itself but of exaggerated public alarm about law and order, generating support for repressive solutions. Cohen (1972)

  1. Inequalities within the 'Criminal JUSTICE System/Process'

    In other words, in the time it takes for one murder on the crime clock, six workers have died "just trying to make a living"!' (Reiman 1979 in Box 1983 p26) Whilst Reiman is referring to USA, Box argues that the picture is very similar in Britain.

  2. The purpose of this report is to evaluate and reflect upon my experience of ...

    He also states that in small groups people may have to take on dual roles to help that group succeed. According to Hogg and Vaughan (2008, p.283-284) one of the most important and most basic characteristics of a group is its cohesiveness.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work