Assess The Usefulness Of Marxism In Understanding Crime And Deviance

1177 words, 5 pages

Intro Sample...

To understand how useful certain theories and methods are when studying crime and deviance you need to know what crime and deviance is. A criminal act is something which breaks the law for example murder or rape. A deviant act however is different from a criminal act as a deviant act is something which is frowned upon in society for example being naked in public, however it is very hard to define a deviant act, as what some people see as deviant others may not.
Marxists such as Karl Marx believe that society is ideologically manipulated through the law only being applied to less powerful groups such as the young, the working class and blacks. These groups of people are more likely to be arrested, convicted and sent to prison than... View More »

Body Sample...

Hirchi also a functionalist developed control theory by taking up Durkhiems ideas that crime is normal in society and explored the way in which society controls the dangers crime poses to it. Durkhiem believes there are functions and dysfunctions of crime. According to him there are two crucial elements in understanding crime, the first one being that a limited amount of crime is necessary and beneficial to society, so society wouldn’t exist without it. However on the other hand too much crime is bad for society and can cause it too collapse. There is also the necessity of crime. This means that boundaries of acceptable behaviour need to be defined and made known to society. Boundaries must be made known to the public so some form of drama is needed this is often created through the media. A study to back this up is Erikson (1996). Durkhiem also says that crime can bring society together, for example people may be drawn together through horror or fear of a particular crime. However there are some weaknesses when looking at functionalism, feminists would say that it does not talk about conflict through gender, and Marxists would criticize this theory by saying it does not talk about conflict through class. Also post-modernists believe we live in a pick and mix society so they would criticize this functionalism as they say there is set values in society. However strength of functionalism is that it is recognising the effects the media can have on crime and deviance.
Another theory to look at is interactionism. Interactionists say that most of us commit deviant acts at some ...

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