Outline and Evaluate Marxist Theories on Crime

Topics: Marxism, Working class, Social class Pages: 4 (1431 words) Published: November 10, 2011
Outline and assess Marxist explanations of crime and deviance.  
In looking at the Marxist explanation of crime and deviance one must also look to the non-sociologist explanations and those of other different groups in order to come to an informed view of the subject.  

The non-sociologist definition of crime and deviance would be that deviance is uncommon behaviour, something that offends the morals or the majority of society, without being harmful or serious enough to be criminal. Whereas a criminal act is an act which causes harm to someone else enough to warrant a decision-maker passing a law which forbids the act.  

The Marxist theory in general splits society in half, the rich and the poor. With the poor being exploited by the rich. This theory appears to be the basis for all Marxist perspective including the Marxist explanations of crime and deviance. Karl Marx stated that crime was the product of poverty and the traditional Marxist view regarding the cause of crime amongst the working classes is competition and the desire to acquire wealth. The working class people want the ‘things’ that they see the middle classes with but they cant afford them so they resort to stealing. The explanation of the cause of the majority of crime is given as the people fighting back against the oppression of a corrupt capitalist society.

According to the Marxist movement Deviant behaviour is behaviour which if frowned upon by the wealthy and powerful possibly even considered to be threatening their way of life. Deviant people are considered to be victims of a repressive state. When deviant behaviour is found to be a threat the people in charge come up with a new law to change deviant to criminal, for example new age travellers who were a threat as they showed young people the option of a different way of life. At first they were labelled as drug addicts and criminals, then in 1994 the criminal justice act was passed which contained several points...
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