Why does the capitalist system create crime according to traditional Marxists?

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Published on 10th December 2017 by

Why does the capitalist system create crime according to traditional Marxists?

Video Resources

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  2. Cornell Notes

Snippet from the Video:

Marxism it’s like functionalism and feminism a structural theory, which believes that the structure or organisation of capitalist society shapes people’s behaviour. The key difference however is that Marxists see this structure is based on conflict between social classes, as opposed to the consensus approach of Merton and the subcultural theorists.

The economic base (the capitalist economy) determines the shape of the superstructure. The superstructure is all other social institutions like the family and schools but also the criminal justice system, the law and the state. According to Marxists, their purpose is to serve ruling class interests and maintain the capitalist economy.

Traditional Marxist believe that it is the structure of capitalist society that can explain crime. This explanation has three Main sections:

• Criminogenic capitalism
• the state and lawmaking
• ideological functions of crime and law

This A-level sociology video will explore these issues in more detail. Enjoy!

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