April 23, 2008 - Conflict Theories of Crime Marxist...

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April 23, 2008 Conflict Theories of Crime Marxist Perspectives o Crime is defined and enforced based on what is in the interests of the capitalist class Crime is good for the capitalists because it helps them repress the working class Crime helps reduce surplus labor—it’s an economy in itself (money to be made off of crime not only by criminals but by those that lock up criminals—privatizing prison industries) The War on Drugs Crime distracts the working class from the real issue—it’s own exploitation Crime is enforced by people who represent the interests of the ruling class o Critiques Tendency to “romanticize” criminals as political resistors or resourceful adapters to life conditions (see crime as a way for those who are not in power to assert their own interests) There is far more consensus on crime than what conflict theorists would suggest (ex: is it only in the interests of the ruling class for murder to be a crime? No it’s beneficial to everyone—few disagree that murder is a serious crime) Not terribly practical (we won’t overthrow the capitalist system in order to stop crime) Terrorism o Constructionist Perspective Terrorism is: Not a natural fact (a socially constructed idea and term)
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