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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
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
A second meaning includes activities
harmful to others, but not illegal o
STEVEN BOX: In
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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