Asses the different Marxist views of the relationship between crime and social class

Topics: Marxism, Sociology, Social class Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: November 5, 2014
Marxism is a structural theory. For traditional Marxists, they argue that the structure of capitalist society explains crime through criminogenic capitalism, selective enforcement, and the state and law making. Neo- Marxists agree with much of the traditional Marxists views of crime but argue that it is far too simplistic as there are wider factors which lead to crime such as the labelling theory. In this essay I am going to be assessing the different Marxists views of the relationship between crime and social class. For Marxists, crime is inevitable in capitalism because capitalism is criminogenic which means that the nature of a capitalist society causes crime as Marxists believe that it is based on the exploitation of the working class. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class who are used as a means of profit at any cost, this can be particularly damaging to the working class causing there to be a rise in crime due to factors such as poverty which means that crime may be they only way that the working class can survive and that crime may only be committed as this is the way that the working class can obtain consumer goods which are encouraged by capitalist advertising causing crimes such as theft. In addition, the need for the ruling class to win at all coasts and gain as much profit as they can leads to them committing white collar crimes and corporate crimes such as tax evasion. Thus, as David Gordon argues crime is a rational response to capitalist society and is found in all social classes. Traditional Marxists therefore see the working class committing crimes as a way to survive in a capitalist society but the ruling class committing crimes due to their selfish desires and greed. Furthermore, Traditional Marxists argue that all classes commit crimes, but when it comes to the enforcement of the law by the criminal justice system, there is selective enforcement. Marxists believe that while crimes committed by the working class...
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