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Crime According To Marx Essay, Research Paper

Corporate & White Collar Crime ?

Powerful groups can manipulate

the definition of what is considered criminal. Only WC crime considered

criminal ?

When they commit such crimes as fraud, tax evasion,

members of privileged groups often escape punishment, or suffer less severe

punishment Corporate Crime o


committed by companies to increase profits e.g.

breaking health and safety laws/dumping waste to avoid paying for proper

disposal o

A second meaning includes activities

harmful to others, but not illegal o


terms of harmed caused to individuals and losses to public in unpaid tax

revenue, environmental costs and costs in health and welfare benefits,

corporate crime is more serious than street crime/burglary. Estimated ?16billion lost. ?

Often unclear of victim in corporate crime;

normally drawn from following categories: ?

Consumers in general

? false or misleading claims in ads, faulty, dangerous goods ?


? failure to employ health and safety ?


? More subtle than harm to consumers e.g. tax evasion leads to higher taxes Process of

corporate decision-making is complex; there is no one single person to blame Example Ferry sank in

1989, over 100 deaths Bow doors were

left open for too long as it left harbour Individual

directly responsible had fallen asleep He claimed he had

worked long hours and was tired Leaving the doors

open was normal practice as it achieved faster crossing time This decision was

made at senior level ? faster crossing, more business Demand for higher

profits and fewer members of staff came from board of directors When came to

court, no fines or jail sentences, no crime had been committed White Collar /

Occupational Crime Crime committed

by people in clerical, supervisory or managerial employment SUTHERLAND: First

raised idea in 1940?s. ?Crime committed by person of high social status and

respectability in course of his occupation? However, such

crimes not always by people of high social status CROALL: ?Crime

committed in the course of legitimate employment involving the abuse of an

occupational role? ? problem with this definition ? ignores tax evasion White-collar

crime characterised by invisibility of victim and complexity. Often occurs when

person with expert knowledge uses it to steal or defraud. Difficult to

catch them and victim is often unaware. White-collar

criminals often given ?soft? punishment, given

amounts of money involved. Not regarded as

seriously as street crime/burglary. Marxists argue it

is connected to ability of powerful to manipulate

values of society. Criticisms of Marxist Approach 1. Ignores

individual motivation for crime; concentrates on nature of capitalism and how

economic factors ?force? people to act in certain ways. Perceptions, ideas and

motivations are rarely discussed. 2. Marxists

claim high rate of crime amongst WC, youth and minorities is due to biased

policing. They also argue that laws are biased against WC, forcing them into

crime. 3. Not

all laws benefit UC, many come from genuine agreement. Marxists reject this, laws

that seem to benefit everyone are useful ultimately to UC. By providing a few

laws that are of use to everyone, they hide their real nature. This is rejected

by MISHRA ? this form of Marxist analysis, ?left Functionalism? means

that any law can be shown to be in some way ?functional? to maintenance of

capitalism. This makes any meaningful debate with Marxists, impossible. 4. Societies,

which call themselves Marxist, have equal crime rate to capitalist ones, yet in

Marxist society, there should be no crime. SUMMARY Marxists attack

traditional concern of sociologists of crime and deviance with street crime They argue crime

arises from definitions of crime imposed by UC They focus on

extent of crime committed by corporations and white collar cime, demonstrating

that crime is diffused through society Hall?s work

begins with ?relative autonomy? Ruling class

don?t manipulate activities of control agencies These agencies

strongly influenced by needs of capitalism but to some extent are autonomous According to Hall,

the sociologist must uncover links between way control orgainisations operate,

the effects upon people being controlled and benefits to ruling class

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