assess the usefulness of Marxist approach to an understanding of crime and deviance’

Topics: Marxism, Sociology, Social class / Pages: 8 (1983 words) / Published: Oct 21st, 2013
‘Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of Marxist approach to an understanding of crime and deviance’ (21 marks)

There are numerous Marxist theories that help us to understand crime and deviance in different ways, however they are all based around the same ideas. They believe capitalism causes crime in three different ways including, selective law enforcement, criminogenic capitalism and ideological nature of the law. Traditional Marxists believe that crime is inevitable in all societies because capitalism is criminogenic suggesting that it is societies very nature that causes crime. According to traditional Marxists society causes capitalism in different ways. One of which is due to poverty. The lack of social mobility means that people find it difficult to move up the social classes. And therefore those in poverty that cannot afford necessities such as food result in utilitarian crimes (crimes with a purpose) for example theft In order to survive. Another way that capitalism causes crime is due to capitalism advertising products encouraging the false need and desire for consumer goods. A false need makes an individual believe that they need a product when in reality they don’t, for example cars, phones etc. They can achieve this through the media for example TV advertisements and billboards, because people believe this is what they need if they cannot afford it legitimately then they may turn to crime. Thirdly capitalism can cause crime through alienation (individuals feeling isolated from the rest of society) as a lack of control of their lives may lead to crimes of violence and other non utilitarian crimes without a purpose for example domestic violence etc. This could occur whereby a partner feels frustrated with his social position and therefore takes it out on members of the family etc. Finally capitalism encourages a dog-eat-dog world therefore regardless of social class people always want more. This leads to crimes

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