Outline and Assess Marxist Explanations of the Causes of Crime

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 377
  • Published : October 24, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Outline and assess Marxist explanations of the causes of crime (50 marks)

It is to a large extent that Marxism is a useful theory in explaining the causes of crime. This is because it highlights the inequalities in society and how the ruling class owns the means of production. This fails to show reasons why not everyone is facing status frustration and lower income turn to crime.

One way in which Marxism is a useful theory for explaining the causes of crime is the concept of capitalism, criminogenic capitalism. Criminogenic capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class- using them for a means to an end. Crime is not confined to the working class, greed and self interest cause white collar crimes such as tax evasion and breaches of the health and safety laws. An example to highlight this can be seen from Gordon 1988 who studied the response to the anti capitalist system and found that it is apparent that it can be found in all social classes. This analysis shows that Marxism is useful to a large extent.

Another way in which Marxism is a useful theory is that Marxists see the law making and law enforcement as only serving the interests of the capitalist class. Chambliss argues that laws that protect private property are the cornerstones of the capitalist economy. This means that ruling class almost controls the law. Snider argues that the capitalists state is reluctant to pass laws that regulate the activities of businesses or threaten their profitability. This means that the ruling class also have the power to stop the introduction of laws that would threaten their interest. However, Functionalists believe it’s because of laws that people commit crime. Like the apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was arrested as a ‘terrorist’ for protesting by white authorities. This analysis shows that Marxism is useful to a large extent as it can be seen that law making and law enforcement is only serving the interests of the ruling class....
tracking img