A2 sociology- crime and deviance (Marxism)

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Becky_Ann
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i am struggling to get my head around the Marxist perspective of crime and deviance, and was wondering if anyone had a list of points to include in my essay, maybe with example and criticisms too! any help appreciated! thanks in advance
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username1039383
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i think you should definitely buy the 'succeed in A2 sociology' book on amazon. its amazing and helps with literally everything in the syllabus plus smple essays and eval points


i think you should include Karl Marx, and the other sociologists (forgot most of the names as i finished last summer) and talk about corporate criminals and how the ruling class get away with their crimes, which draws attention to working class crime
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SeanToBeWild
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One thing to remember about Marx is capitalism - everything is because of the class divide and capitalism creates problem. You will need to mention in essays the following;

- crimogenic
- neo-marxism
- traditional marxism
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purplestudent
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The Marxist theory is based around capitalism. Whenever you're stuck just think about how crime and deviance helps reinforce inequality of the working class. The rich commit crime too, tax evasion etc, and Marxists argue that they get away with crimes due to their linguistic ability and how the wider population view them in a positive light compared to how the wider population view the working class. It is of course capitalism that creates this problem.
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Onoderas
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(Original post by Becky_Ann)
i am struggling to get my head around the Marxist perspective of crime and deviance, and was wondering if anyone had a list of points to include in my essay, maybe with example and criticisms too! any help appreciated! thanks in advance
I've attached my notes to the end of this message to see if they help but I'll go through some points I'd do in a Marxist essay for you! If you need any more clarification just let me know and I'd be happy to explain.

Intro-Marxism is a conflict perspective that sees society as being ruled by the bourgeois and based on the exploitation of the proletariat, society is an economic superstructure with the means of production determining the shape of the infrastructure (basically the exploitation of the lower classes determines how much profit the society will make and how the society will run).

Marxism sees capitalist society as criminogenic, it's very nature causes crime this is caused through;
Capitalism putting the lower classes in poverty and causing some to turn to crime as the only way to survive (reflects strain theory)
Capitalism causing materialistic desires through the ruling class owned media that lead to people committing crime to get what they want (relative deprivation)
The frustration of exploitation that the lower classes feel leads to non-utilitarian crime (Cohen-status frustration)
Capitalism is a dog eat dog system where the ruling class commit corporate crime to get more profit (empirical example, for instance Bhopal)

AO2 could be showing how this links to other theories and saying it is more universal, covering corporate crime and not just street

The capitalists make crime seem like a working class phenomenon through manipulation of crime stats, the top of social structure's crimes are concealed, Reiman in 'The Rich get Richer and the Poor Get Prison' say that street crime is the only true crime put into stats, more white collar crimes are dealt with internally to avoid a scandal

AO2-this reflects somewhat with interactionalist notions that crime is a social construction and interpretations of it are developed by the moral entrepreneurs, but this seems to ignore the fact that sometimes white collar crime is exposed and dealt with, Marxists respond that this is ideological in function to make the system look fairer, But Kolko says this is left Functionalism and Marxism is impossible to debate with or falsify as they can make anything functional for capitalism so the argument becomes unsophisticated

Capitalism conceals its crimes in the workforce that it exploits by making it seem as though they are valued, health and safety laws seem to show care and encourage people to work but this is actually so that a healthy workforce is maintained (Pearce)

AO2-Carson found that from 200 firms only 1.5% of H and S incidents were followed up showing that Capitalism does not truly care and the laws are ideological to maintain submission to the ruling class hegemony, also when laws are broken companies blame this on accident prone individuals so full justice is never given to those who deserve it and exploitation exists without anyone being able to challenge it

AO2-Marxism is too deterministic as not all who are exploited turn to crime

Neo Marxism developed by Young et al overcomes this by showing that crime is a free choice by an individual in an act of political resistance to overcome the exploitation individuals face, crime has meaning for the actor who makes a conscious decision and is not a slave to capitalism

To understand crime a fully social theory is needed looking at ; the wider origins of the act, the immediate origins, the immediate reaction, the wider reaction, the application of a label

Neo-Marxism also looks to Moral Panics like Hall et al did with the panic over black youths and mugging

AO2-Neo Marxism is criticised by Left Realists for being too sympathetic and ignoring the real victims

It fails to note that most crime is intra-centric and occurs within social groups

Overall Marxism is flawed as it states crime will be gone with a revolution, but countries that were once communist still had crime, e.g Russia
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