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Marxist View of Crime and Deviance

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Assess the usefulness of Marxist theories in explaining crime and deviance
Marxists sociologists believe that we live in a capitalist society which is divided into classes. They argue that society is based on conflict over the inequality of wealth and power between the bourgeoisie; the ruling capitalist class who own the means of production and the proletariat; the working class who are exploited by the bourgeoisie in order for them to gain profit. This is known as capitalism.
The Marxist view on crime is based on three main elements. The first element is criminogenic capitalism, this suggests that crime is inevitable due to the fact that capitalism breeds crime in society. This is the idea that the exploitation of the working class can cause a rise in crime rates. For example, people in poverty may resort to crime in order to survive as crime may be the only way they can obtain consumer goods by committing utilitarian crimes which are crimes concerning money such as theft, embezzlement etc. In addition to this, alienation may also be another way to cause working class people to commit crime as the lack of control they have over their lives may lead to frustration and aggression which can result in non-utilitarian crimes which are crimes that do not concern money such as murder, violence, vandalism. Gordon, a sociologist believes that crime is a rational response to the capitalist system and it is found in all social classes.
The second element is the state and law making; this implies that laws that are enforced only benefit the ruling class. For example, the law of squatting benefits the ruling class as it ensures that things such as inheritance the protection of property are kept within the ruling class. It is believed that the ruling class have the power to prevent the introduction of laws that would threaten their interests as it is the ruling class who make...

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