Marxist Theories Of Crime Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Marxist Theories Of Crime Deck (11):

What is the Marxist view of crime?

Crime is caused by the organisation and nature of capitalist society.


What is the effect of inequalities in income and wealth?

Capitalist societies are characterised by inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth. Consequently, crime reflects these inequalities and so is inevitable. It is a realistic response to these circumstances.


What does David Gordon (1976) argue?

The nature and organisation of capitalism is criminogenic. The population of capitalist societies is socialised into a set of values that promote selfishness.


What does criminogenic mean?

The culture or value system that underpins capitalism causes criminal behaviour in all social classes.


How does powerlessness and alienation cause people to cause crime?

Traditionally work was the main source of identity but, due to drive in greater profit and control work has been reorganised and job satisfaction has been removed from the worker... leading to alienation. So working class workers may seek alternative sources of power and so commit crime.


How does law act as a factor for social control?

Law and agencies of social control such as the police, function to benefit the interests of the ruling class.


Why does Althusser (1969) call the law ‘an ideological state apparatus’?

Because it functions to hide the true extent of class inequality.


How does Chambliss support Althusser?

He states that the law mainly protects capitalist interests, particularly wealth, property and profit.


What is the social construction of law?

-As proposed by Steven Box (1983).
- law is socially constructed by the ruling class to protect capitalist interest as they often participate in activities that result in death, fraud or theft.


What is selective law enforcement?

Statistics give the impression that crimes are mainly committed by working class people rather than by the wealthy and powerful.


What is Reiman’s (2001) argument?

The more likely a crime is to be committed by higher class people, the less likely it is to be treated as a criminal offence.