Assess These Strengths and Weaknesses of Marxists Explanations of Crime

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Assess these strengths and weaknesses of Marxists explanations of crime
Traditional Marxism is a structural theory which sees society as a structure in which the economic base determines the shape of the superstructure, which is made up of all the other social institutions, including the state, the law and the criminal justice system. Their function is to serve the ruling-class interests and maintain the capitalist society. Marxists agree that the law is enforced against powerless groups and that labelling often results in further deviance. They see crime and deviance as not coming from moral or biological defects but defects within social order and therefore crime is an inevitable part of capitalism as it stems from social inequality.
For Marxists, crime is inevitable in capitalism because capitalism is criminogenic. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class and therefore is particularly damaging to the working class which may give rise to crime. Alienation and the lack of control over their lives may lead to frustration and aggression, resulting in non-utilitarian crimes such as vandalism and violence. Crime may also be the only way they can obtain the consumer goods encouraged by capitalist advertising, resulting in utilitarian crimes such as theft. Therefore, it can be said a strength of the Marxist explanation of crime is that is it explains the causes of both utilitarian and non-utilitarian crime of the working class. However, one could argue that this view is too deterministic and over-predicts the amount of crime in the working class: not all poor people commit crime, despite the pressures of poverty.
Nonetheless, crime is not confined to the working class. Capitalism is a ‘dog eat dog’ system of ruthless competition among capitalists. The need to win at all costs or go out of business, along with the desire for self-enrichment,…...

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