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Lecture 12

CRM 1301 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: For Marx, Spurious Relationship, Determinism


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 1301
Professor
Carolyn Gordon
Lecture
12

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Thursday March 5th 2015
Marxism and crime
-Capitalist values cause crime: Capitalism as a system generates certain values like competition ,
consumerism (If we all want things but don’t have the means to get them we will do crime to get them),
greed, individualism/egoism (rather than focusing on the well being of the group, you focus on getting
yourself ahead, it does not matter if you hurt others along the way).
-The Proletariat (working class) experience leads to crime: Poverty (some find alternative means to
achieve the American dream), alienation (people feel isolated from themselves, from the product, from
others which leads to vandalism and other crimes), powerlessness (sometimes people do crime to get
some kind of power).
-Crime serves functions: Assigns blame to street crime and divides the working class. It also diverts
attention from the crime of the powerful since we are focusing all of our attention on street crime.
Crime is also economically useful (lawyers, judges, criminology professors etc).
-Law is selective: Form of social control (an attempt to manage population, so those populations that
are deemed to be deviant), criminalized behaviour of the poor, do not criminalize/minimize the
wrongdoings of the rich.
Bohpal Disaster 1984
-There was a gas leak which attacked people in the village near the factory.
-This gas leak attacked people’s throats and lungs and many died.
-Many safety measures from this plant did not work.
-People who spoke up at this factory that things were not being done properly and it was unsafe were
fired.
-The safety technology was either being repaired or turned off to save money.
-Today people are still suffering side effects. Rates of cancer and tuberculosis are way up.
-Victims were barely compensated, not even enough money to cover medical expenses for up to 5 years
which is bad considering many suffered injuries that will last their entire life.
-Information is not being given about the gas so victims can’t get the best medical treatment.
What is the solution to crime?
-Capitalism must be eliminated which meant getting rid of social divides as well as equal distribution of
income.
-Revolution
-Establish new social order
-Emergence of communism
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