What is Marxist Theory Of Crime (Criminology): Explained

Crime, a word assigned to an unexpected and undesirable act, done to fulfill any particular desire through an unlawful act by breaking rules, thus causing a sense of terror and disturbance in society. Examples of crime need not be revealed, as they are well known to even an infant who has just taken birth. Yet if examples are needed then crimes include stealing, robbing, rape, murder, threatening, frightening, or any such other acts.

New York is a city of business, best known for the businessmen and the job opportunities available there. With a growing business and growing job opportunities, in the eighteenth century, a group of people caught stealing something were asked, “What have they stolen?” They answered something that changed the views of people towards crime: they were caught for the offense of stealing a piece of bread. Many such incidents lead people to believe that the majority of crimes are committed to meet an individual’s basic needs.

Following the end of World War I, and especially World War II, cases of stealing and robbing flooded the news channels.  In the majority of cases, robbers did not steal anything luxurious; instead, they stole bread, vegetables, and other items that are not valuable enough to steal but are still required for survival.

Sociology of Crime: Crime is a social phenomenon

Marx, a great sociologist, developed his own theory of crime. The theory states criminals are not culprits, the offenders who are needed to be convicted are the reasons that made them criminals, No person, on earth has taken birth with a prior intention to commit crimes, but when he is subjected to the inequalities conferred by society, he does his part to complete his part of the responsibility. In other words, crime is the result of structural inequalities which a society presents to his members, intentionally or unintentionally.

When pressed by intra-group conflicting demands, an individual commits a crime. Theories defining crime are not present in Marxist criminology, yet his economic theory has provided sufficient context to define the word “crime.”

Also Read: Criminology

There are bundles of the list with thousands of names of criminals but when the case study of those criminals is done with a survey they are found helpless. They are left with only one way to complete or fulfill their needs and i.e. to break the laws.

Karl Marx argued that the law is the mechanism by which one social class, usually referred to as the ruling class or aristocrats, exploits all the other classes and keeps them in a position in which they do lack having an adequate quantity of resources. Thus, this school uses a Marxist lens through which the criminalization process can be explained in a different context than it is assumed today. It also explains why some acts are defined as deviant or wrong and eligible for conviction, whereas others are not. It is therefore interested in political, state crime, and state-corporate crime.

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