With Reference to the Items, Explain the Marxist View of Crime and Deviance Essay
The Marxist view of crime and deviance ultimately claims that the ruling class use their power to gain from society with very few negative sanctions. As the ruling class have all the raw materials and therefore have the means of production they gain all the power to control society. This in turn gives the ruling class the ability to create laws that will only benefit themselves and criminalise the poor. White collar crimes of the wealthy, i. e. crimes committed by those with power such as fraud or VAT dodging within a business, are ignored or treated leniently.
This is clearly shown through the comparison of Items A and D. Item A shows how one families benefit fraud was penalised and stigmatised within the agency of mass media, when he only claimed a total of ?26,000 a year. Compare this to Item D, whereby the most affluent A and B upper class social groups are using black market Tax avoidance schemes to scam the government of ?20 billion a year in tax, you can clearly see how the upper class uses means of mass media and enforcing certain laws more harshly to criminalise the working class.
Due to the fact that it appears that more crime is committed by the working class police will often target those areas; a result of the policing labelling and having a stereotypical idea of a criminal. Their idea of a criminal is the working class, as they often see working class crimes and deviant behaviour occurring and being punished. Marxists say that this is due to the ruling class using selective law enforcement which gives certain crimes and deviant behaviour more importance within society so these crimes are focused on.
This means the poor are punished for their crimes but the ruling class can get away with crimes. One way of controlling what laws are enforced is by having people of the same class in power within the government and other jobs with high amounts of power attached. Another means of the ruling class maintaining their control over society is through the means of media. This is evident in Item B, where a published image from ‘Causeway Press’, 1996, shows a car full of those considered working class whom appear to be the rich ones with a label of “Social security, Beano for Fiddlers” on the car.
This image shows how the media portray the working class as criminals in everyday life. They are sending a message across to society that the working class live off of the ruling class’ hard work and claim benefits to survive. The idea of the working class turning to crime more and more often, Marxists claim, is the fault of capitalism. They claim that capitalism only encourages greed and self-interest within the working class. They say due to poverty within the working class they are more likely to commit crimes in order to consume material goods.
This is majorly encouraged and endorsed by media through advertisements. The media is really used to exaggerate working class crimes. The ruling class controls the media according to Marxists. This means that there are values and figures, as shown in Item C, which are not shown. Item C says that of an estimated 2 million people who could claim legitimate benefits, only 60-65% will actually claim them and only 0. 42% of 662,000 Family Allowance and Child Benefit claims were fraudulent.
By hiding these figures the ruling class can both demonise and criminalise the working class, without allowing their white collar crimes to be shown. In conclusion, Marxists claim that the law is neither just nor fair and does not represent a consensus population, but aims to benefit the ruling class and maintain their power and wealth. Marxists say that the ruling class using crime and deviant behaviour of the working class is a way to maintain social class reproduction and present a capitalist society from which they will benefit.