Using material from item B and elsewhere assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches in explaining crime Marxism is a conflict theory established by Karl Marx. Marxists believe that the capitalist system is just a way in which the ruling classes (the bourgeoisie) control and exploit the workers (the proletariat), and it focuses on the unequal conflict between these two sectors of society. Marxists believe that the capitalist system is criminogenic – which means that by its nature it inevitably causes crime. As item B states, Marxists see crime in the capitalist system as ‘a tool of the ruling class’ where they can control the working class and crime is an unavoidable result because of the oppression the working class are subject to. They also believe that laws are enforced mostly to benefit the interests of the ruling class.
And of course none of these are good escape routes from poverty and we all believe in the term "poverty causes crime". But it’s not always the poor who commits crime. Mostly the poor or the middle class people will go after crimes to fulfill their temporary desires. For example raping, stealing and sometimes murder too. Since the low class poor people are not usually educated, they often easily “pushed” into the crimes by the high class people.
Labeling theory involving Gangs There is a separation that is prevalent in today’s society between the rich and the poor. People who are born rich are able to commit crimes and avoid the punishment that follows, while the poor must face full punishment of the law and have few if any rights when it comes to formal sanctions of law enforcement. When you think of a gang more than likely, you do not think of a large group of close friends but rather a group of people who are menaces to society who carry guns, sell drugs, and cause havoc and violence in many different types of neighborhood’s. This is why we will investigate in further detail the labels that are placed on gangs using labeling theory and the effects it has on their social interactions. A sociologist by the name of Walter Miller did a study where he interviewed law enforcement personnel and social service professionals who dealt with youth gangs.
But due to poor educational achievement and low paid manual work they are unable to gain these goals. An example of this is Willis’ 12 lads and their ‘anti-school’ subculture. The strain makes working classes experience ‘status frustration’ due to the lack of power, respect and prestige that they receive and therefore they seek this through illegitimate means such as joyriding. This suggests that criminal gangs develop for more reasons than financial gain. From this it is clear that Albert Cohen agrees with the subculturalist view of crime being a collective activity.
Rather than focusing on social situations, the criminal and deviant act, the interactionists focused on the reaction to the act and its effects on the deviant individual. One main possible criticisms of interactionist theory is that to some extent ignores and privatisation and its effect on crime. Can negative labelling be the only reason that crime is predominantly more in working class area than in middle class ones? The “new criminology” was a radical development of traditional Marxist theory (Young, Walton and Taylor) they attempted to combine the process of labelling with Marxist explanations of social inequality to explain crime. A criticism of both the original interactionists and the new criminology came from the “New Left Realists”
However, could there be an actual connection between Marxism and criminology? Critical criminologists believe that the upper classes always decide what a crime is and how it will be punished. They use the justice system to control the lower classes and prevent them from gaining power. They feel that many justice systems are unfair for that reason. That's why critical criminologists concentrate on different areas like postmodern structures and capitalism and their effects or relationships with crime and justice systems.
Crime shows other members of the society what is right and wrong. Social consensus decides how right and wrong is determined. Crime can lead to social change, say functionalists, because the existence of crime proves to the people in the society that the government does not overly control the citizens. Crime can also help the economy of a society by creating jobs for law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, probation officers and the like. However, even in a functionalist society, too much crime can be bad for the group, causing it to lose the standard harmony and eventually causing the society to collapse.
Some examples of such would be, illegally lobbying or bribing government leaders to gain passage of certain laws, or tax codes. Another form of class conflict may include, a lock out aimed at destroying a labor union, and this is called “open conflict”, or “hidden conflict”, which could be a slowdown in production protesting the wages being paid. According to Karl Marx however, class conflict and struggle are inevitable dissentions that occur because of the economic organization of most societies (Johnson, 2000). Marx also believed that class is defined by the ownership of property and such ownership vests a person with the power to exclude others from the property and to use it for personal purposes. In relation to property, there are three classes of society, they include, the bourgeoisie or the people who own the means of production such as factory and machinery buildings, and whose income is profit, landowners whose income is rent, and the proletariat who own their labor and sell it for a wage.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the social process theories and how these theories are in relation to determining why individuals commit crimes. The social process theory views committing crimes as being a learned behavior. These learned behaviors are due to the interactions with organizations, institutions, and things that happen within society. Due to society’s lack of control to contain these criminal acts, negative labeling occurs. This labeling is what pushes people into committing crimes (Siegel, 2000).
Conclusion: Poverty Does Not Fosters Crime Many people believe that poverty is the main cause of crimes in a city or country. They believe that the only thing poor people do is steal, mug, or even assassin to get things instead of working like a normal people do. For example, I have seen very rich people claiming that poor people are a problem to society because they do not give anything good to it; how poor people are thrown away from certain places only because they “scare normal people”, now society excludes them because of fear. We have become so judgmental that when we see a black guy or some other man with not so good clothes or with a not so good appearance (or in any way that poor people look) walking down the street coming right at us, we immediately though that he is going to assault us and maybe kill us; but if we see a man in a business suit, well shaved, with a clean hair cut, and a nice smile we might think it is even a friends of ours that is coming to say hi. There is something society should know, the rate of crimes is increasing in wealthy countries; the man in the suit could have done a scam or he might me a hit man.