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Flashcards in Marxism Deck (17)
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What do Marxist and Neo-Marxist theorists attempt to explain about crime?

Class differences in crime, why the w/c are more likely to offend.


Who do Marxists say the law is enforced against?

The lower-class, and that official statistics are flawed.


How do Marxists criticise interactionists?

They criticise them for ignoring the influence of capitalists in law making and enforcing the law.


What do Marxists use to explain crime?

They argue that the structure of capitalism causes and explains crime.


Who are the Marxist theorists?

1). Chambliss (1975).

2). Snider (1993).

3). Gordon (1976).

4). Box (1983).


What elements do Marxists use to explain crime in the w/c?

1. Criminogenic capitalism.

2. The state and law making.

3. Ideological functions of crime and law.


What is criminogenic capitalism and who discusses it?

Crime is inevitable in capitalism, because capitalism causes crime.

- Chambliss.
- Box.


How can capitalism cause w/c crime?

Due to capitalism exploiting the w/c;

- Poverty may mean crime is the only way to survive.

- Crime may be the only way of obtaining consumer goods encouraged by capitalist advertising, resulting in ultilitarian crimes.

- Alienation can cause frustration, leading to non-utilitarian crimes.


What did Chambliss find about capitalism being criminogenic?

Greed, self-interest and hostility are all generated by capitalism and this causes crime.


What did Box find about capitalism being criminogenic?

Crime is generated in all social classes as capitalism provides the temptation for illegitimate profit, this is also true for white-collar crime.


According to Box, why might someones commitment to capitalism weaken?

People who are committed to capitalism need the temptation for illegitimate profit, and at least one of the following in order for their commitment to weaken;

1. Secrecy =

people are more likely to commit crime if they won't be noticed.

2. Skills =

serious crimes need skills and knowledge.

3. Supply =

must be able to obtain equipment and supplies.

4. Symbolic support =

needs justification.

5. Social support =

needs others to confirm your criminality is correct (deviant subcultures).


What did Gordon argue about capitalism being criminogenic?

Crime is a rational response to capitalism, and thus is found in all classes.


What do Marxists see law making as serving the needs of?

Law making and enforcement serves the needs of the capitalist class.


What did Chambliss find about the state and law making?

Laws to protect private property are the basis of the capitalist economy.

- The ruling class have the power to prevent laws that are harmful against their interests, so few laws challenge the unequal distribution of wealth.


What evidence is there for Chambliss' argument?

English law in East Africa =

Locals had to pay cashable taxes, so the locals had to work for the plantation owners (capitalists) in order to pay the taxes to the capitalists, serving the needs of the ruling-class.


How does the Marxist argument about the state and law making relate to interactionism?

Puts their view of selective enforcement into a wider structural context, showing that w/c are stereotyped as delinquent to serve the needs of the capitalists.


What are the evaluations of Chambliss' argument of law making?

1. He ignores the complexities of law making.

2. He illustrates selective enforcement in his study "The Saints and Roughnecks".