Crime & Deviance

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Describe the ( ) perspective as it is applied to crime and deviance and evaluate the ( ) perspective of crime and deviance. MARXISM PERSPECTIVE On a theoretical level, Marxists believe that society is divided into the two fundamental classes, those that “have”, and those that “have not”. They believe that the superstructure (the state, the police, the legal system, the family) maintain and reflect ruling class ideology. They take the view that society has to be understood in terms of how wealth and property is distributed in society. Marx argued that the laws were generally the codified means by which one class, the rulers, kept another class, the rest of us in check, (the superstructure serves the ruling classes). The state passes laws, which support ruling class interests. The state then maintains its power and controls the proletariat (working class). They see individual property rights as much more securely established in law that the collective rights of, for instance, trade unions. The laws that are passed reflect the wishes and ideologies of the ruling class. Thus for Marxists, punishment for a crime may depend and vary according to the social class of the perpetrator. Marxists recognise that for a society to function efficiently, social order is necessary. However, apart from communist societies, they consider that in all societies’ one class – the ruling class – gains far more than other classes. Marxism believed that crime and deviance is an outgrowth of an unequal capitalist system. Many poor people feel dispossessed and alienated from society, simply because they cannot gain adequate access to commodities and services. This then means that they are often driven to commit crimes such as burglary, muggings and even vandalism. The media and popular culture tend to focus on street crime. This then diverts the attention away from the white collar
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