A particular Marxist view of the relationship between crime and social class is known as criminogenic capitalism. For Marxists, crime is inevitable in capitalism because capitalism is criminogenic. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class – that is, on using them as a means to and end (profit), whatever the human cost of doing so. It is therefore particularly damaging to the working class and this may give rise to crime. Firstly Marxists believe that poverty may mean that crime is the only way the working class can survive therefore this results in the form of a relationship between crime and social class.
Crime can only be a social problem if it breaks rules in the social system. The human societies often have different minds to what a social problem consists of. There are many known definitions of social problems throughout different societies and worldwide. Criminology in the narrow sense is concerned with the study of the phenomenon of crime, and of the factors or circumstances which may have influence on or be associated with the criminal behaviour and the state of crime in general. The understanding of criminology is to see social problems and cause of the crimes and how they have affect on people in society.
Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat” (Marx and Engels 1848). Social class, therefore, is based upon economic criteria and conflict occurs between those who own the means of production (bourgeoisie) and the wage-labourers (proletariat). As well as having economic control over the proletariat, the bourgeoisie also have the power to determine the superstructure; the ruling class can distort perceptions of the world and hide the true nature of social relationships and the exploitation of the proletariat and, above all, promote bourgeoisie interests. Marx defines production as workers selling their labour for wages in order to exchange money for commodities that will meet their most basic needs. As Marx
Outline and assess Marxist theories of crime. Marxist theories of crime are based on conflict. They claim that society is divided by capitalism and there is a conflict between the upper-classes and the working-classes. They suggest that social inequality is a cause of crime saying that the law is made by the upper class (bourgeoisie) to benefit the ruling class and is harsh towards the working class. Marxist writers such as Chambliss suggest that the majority of the working-classes are exploited by the owners of big businesses and the government.
The concept of a classless society has been elaborated by Karl Marx, the father of Marxist philosophy which is the basis of the Communist ideology. As a member of a contemporary society under a democracy, my beliefs are rooted on a society made up of different classes. In order to get to a higher class of society, one has to work with sweat, and even blood. This idea has caused many revolutions because some who do not want the present structure of society want it to be restructured to suit the need of every individual. This essay is an attempt to discuss a classless society and to establish whether a classless society is attainable and sustainable in this century.
Conflict Theory Introduction Conflict theories are concerned with the political nature of crime, and how law is created and applied. One fundamental assumption of conflict theories is that societies are characterized by conflict rather than consensus. This is the direct opposite assumption of Classical Choice and Social Control theories. Some theorists discuss conflict in terms of a class struggle drawing from Karl Marx. Others discuss it in terms of groups of people struggling to see their interests maintained on many different issues.
We can divide realist approaches along political lines: - Right Realists - Share the New Right or neo-conservative political outlook. - Left Realists - Are socialists and favour quite different policies of reducing crime. Right Realism - They see crime, especially street crime, as a real and growing problem that destroys communities, undermines social cohesion and threatens society’s work ethic. - Right realist views on crime correspond closely with those of neo-conservative governments during the 1970s and 1980s. The Causes of Crime - Right realists reject the idea put forward by Marxists and others that structural or economic factors such as poverty and inequality are the cause for crime.
It is also considered to be the conflict model. Marx believed that the behaviour of individuals shaped society but he also believed that the economic system defined people’s place within society; which allowed Marx to consider there were two types of social classes which were the: bourgeoisie/capitalists and proletariat. The bourgeoisie/capitalists is a small powerful group who own factories as well as other places of employment. Whereas the proletariat is a much larger, poorer group who technically employed by the bourgeoisie. Karl’s view was that both the bourgeoisie and proletariat would forever be in conflict with one another.
Crime is often the result of offering society-demeaning work with little sense of creativity. Laws that are passed on reflect the wishes and ideologies of the ruling classes. Thus for Marxists punishment for a crime may depend and vary according to the social class of the perpetrator. Modern Marxists point to education and the media as socialising agencies, which delude the working class into conforming to a social order, which works against its real interests. From a Marxist point of view laws are made by the state, which represent the interests of the ruling class.
Now, when we know the definitions, we can look at the Marxism view of education. Marxists looks at the society from a conflict perspective. They argue this with saying that education operates as an ideological tool where they manipulating people to think in certain ways to legitimise exploitation by the ruling class and inequality. Louis Althusser (1945) said that education operates as an "ideological apparatus"; in other words this means brainwashing. This idea to schools, could be argued with that the hidden curriculum transmit norms and values, such as punctuality and respect which include authority and other cultural values, whilst free thoughts gives you punishment.