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Flashcards in Marxism Deck (13):

What is the Traditional Marxist view of society?

A capitalist society divided into the ruling capitalist class who own the means of production and the working class, whose labour capitalists exploit for profit.


What is criminogenic capitalism?

The idea that crime is inevitable because capitalism by its very nature causes crime.


What are some reasons for working-class crime?

Poverty may mean that crime is the only way some can survive.
Crime may be the only way of obtaining consumer goods encouraged by capitalist advertising.
Alienation may cause frustration and aggression, leading to non-utilitarian crimes e.g. violence and vandalism.


What are some reasons for ruling-class crime?

The profit motive encourages greed.
Tax evasion, breaking health and safety laws can occur.


What did Gordon (1976) argue?

That crime is a rational response to capitalism and thus is found in all classes.


What did Chambliss (1975) argue?

That the laws to protect private property are the basis of the capitalist economy.


What is the selective enforcement of the law?

The idea that the proletariat is policed more heavily than the bourgeoisie.


How can crime and the law benefit workers?

Health and safety protects workers.
Minimum wage secures a minimum for workers.


How can the law also benefit capitalism as well as workers?

Health and safety gives capitalism a caring face.
The minimum wage allows wages to be kept low.


What do Taylor, Walton and Young (1973) criticise traditional Marxism for?

They criticise it for being too deterministic - seeing workers as driven to commit crime out of economic necessity.


What kind of view do Taylor et al take?

A more voluntaristic view, crime is a conscious choice often with a political motive.


What do Taylor et al aim to create?

A fully social theory of deviance.


What two mains sources would a full social theory of deviance have?

Traditional Marxist ideas about the unequal distribution of wealth and who has power to make and enforce the law.

Labelling theory's ideas about the meaning of the deviant act, societal reactions to it, and the deviant label on the individual.