‘Marxism Is No Longer Relevant to Our Understanding of Crime & Deviance in Society’

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Marxism Pages: 4 (1254 words) Published: January 7, 2011
In order to answer the question, the terms Crime & Deviance must firstly be defined. Crime is an act against the Law (robbery, murder etc), thus the act is known as illegal, whereas Deviance is an act that is not against the Law but an act seen as ‘abnormal’ and going against the norms & values o f Society, such as cross-dressing etc. Marx developed the idea of Marxism (a conflict theory between Upper and Lower social classes) in the 18th Century, when social classes were very clearly defined- the ‘Bourgeois’ and the ‘Proletariat’. For this very reason, what is known as ‘Traditional Marxism’ is now quite evidently outdated, mainly due to the emergence of the ‘Middle Class’ throughout the 20th Century and the ‘Digital Revolution’ also in the late 20th and 21st Century, which has blurred the lines between the different social classes, particularly the ‘Digital Revolution’ which has seen the birth of the Post-Modernist theory of Pick ’n’ Mix Identity, in effect allowing people to ‘choose’ their ‘Class’. Due to these reasons, Marxism has developed and produced more relevant theories. Traditional Marxism saw Crime & Deviance as a result of Capitalism and the resulting oppression and exploitation of the ‘Proletariat’, as previously stated, this itself is outdated, due to the continuing ambiguity of Social Classes. However, some aspects of Traditional Marxism still hold true to this day, such as its views on white collar crime and unfairness of the Court System and Police force. There exists much evidence (mostly provided by the ONS) that’s supports this idea of ‘unfairness’- for example the number of prosecutions for dole fraud are 14,000 annually and cost the British economy £500 Million, while tax fraud costs £5 billion to the economy, but annually there are only 20 prosecutions. It could be argued that tax fraud is much more profitable than dole fraud; however, Marxist’s would argue tax fraud is a White-Collar crime and therefore performed mostly by the upper...
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