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Marxist Approaches to Crime

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Assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches to crime In this essay I will be discussing the usefulness of Marxist approaches to crime. Marxists believe that the law is part of the superstructure which is used to socialise people therefore, benefiting capitalises. They argue that the law is only enforced on the working and middle class in order to maintain power of the ruling class. On the other hand, Marxists have been criticised by Neo-Marxists. Marxists state that laws maintain capitalist as capitalists define what behaviours are seen as criminal and not criminal. Chambliss supports this as he stated that that the law need to look at decision and non-decision making, this refers to categorising what is seen as criminal behaviour and what is not. There are certain behaviours aren’t defined as criminal because they help maintain wealth and power of the ruling class in society for example, cigarettes aren’t classed as criminal even though they are taxed and kill thousands every year. Snider also supports this as he believes the government are reluctant to pass laws which put capitalist profits at threat. A criticism of Marxism is that they focus on class inequality too much and ignore other inequalities relating to things like ethnicity and gender. From a feminist perspective Marxists ignore the role of patriarchy and how that influences the criminal justice system. For example, Durkheim argues that crime is needed in society to help individuals be aware of what is right and wrong. In addition, traditional Marxists have been criticised by Neo-Marxists because they ignore intra-class crime. Neo-Marxists believe that people are not passive and that crimes have a motive and are conscious acts against capitalist. In conclusion, overall traditional Marxists believe that the law benefits the capitalists (ruling class) and is only enforced to harm the working and...

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