The application of penalty is determined by the category system. Critically discuss this with mention to Marxist theories of Punishment.

This essay is traveling to critically discourse with mention to Marxists theories of penalty whether the application of penalty is determined by the category system. In order to make this we foremost need an apprehension of what Marxist theory is based on, how Marx differentiates the category system and how punishment tantrums in to his theory. At the clip of Karl Marx’s work, he had witnessed many revolutions across Western Europe. Marxism tried to acquire people to understand the society they lived in and whilst he did merely a small letter sum of work on existent offense and felons, he did admit that there was struggle within society ( History Learning Site, 2010 ) . He recognised there was a split in society between the wealthiest and the hapless. One of Marx’s chief focus’ in his theory was the economic system and he believed those who had wealth were the powerful and those who were poorer were the powerless. By the start of the industrial epoch Marx believed society to be split between two economic categories. The poorer terminal of society known as the ‘proletariat’ which is besides known to be the working-class, and the ruling-class he described as being a more dominant category, called the ‘bourgeoisie’ ; these were proprietors of wealth that did non necessitate to work. The control and owning of private belongings by the wealthiest ( which was the start of Capitalism ) and the development of labor done by the working category was his chief thought in his theory on the struggle of categories. “Marx saw struggle in society as being due to a scarceness of resources and a historical inequality in the distribution of those resources, notably power.” ( Williams and McShane, 2010 ; 134 ) .

Marxists criminologists suggest that category battle affects offense in three different places. First, they suggest that jurisprudence is a tool used by the governing category to command the on the job category. They believe that is why there is no jurisprudence enforcement for the opinion category ( Michalowski and Bohlander, 1976 cited in Williams and McShane, 1988: 135 ) , they said that behavior that is non placed under any jurisprudence but alternatively placed under merely administrative and regulating Torahs can merely be to protect themselves. Marxist think jurisprudence is an maltreatment to general human rights and they besides question the power of the jurisprudence and it purpose in its application, if the on the job category are patroling the working category ( Schwendinger and Schwendinger, 1970, 1972, 1977 ; Platt, 1974 cited in Williams and McShane, 2010 ) . Second, Marxist’s see all offense in a capitalist society as a merchandise of category battle. It causes the working category the demand to trail to acquire in front which can attest itself it to criminal behavior. The divide between these two categories and the struggle, creates competition. Person will desire something and when they feel there is no other manner of accomplishing this, condemnable activity can take topographic point ( Bohm, 1982 as cited in Williams and McShane, 2010 ) . This can be seen in Emilie Durkheim’s Anomie theory.

There are other theories that besides recognise a division in society. Emilie Durkheim’s anomy theory besides recognised the division in society and in his book termed it as the division in labor. He studied Europe after the industrial revolution and Durkheim saw from forced industrialization and commercialization, a big economic crisis could specify factors of doing a province of anomy. He described this as a dislocation of societal norms for the on the job category. He stated without clear regulations to steer the on the job category, persons find it difficult to happen a topographic point in society. He concludes that this in bend causes dissatisfaction, defeat, struggle and aberrance. Durkheim’s anomie theory looks at societal norms in society being broken while Merton’s Strain theory ( 1938 ) looks more at aberrance who besides refers to bureaucratic behavior every bit good as condemnable behavior in his theory. In Merton’s theory he saw certain ends emphasised through society and used fiscal success as an illustration. He said non everyone has equal entree to these fiscal accomplishments or success and that some people may look for illicit ways to derive this success. Because of this societal inequality and division in society between the working category and opinion category, he believes that certain ends are merely non available for certain groups within society such as the lower societal category. Merton’s anomie theory is frequently referred to as strain theory as this lower or working category experience a strain to accomplish illicitly ways to derive this success and those groups with the least entree to accomplish these ends have higher offense and aberrance rates harmonizing to Merton. In his survey of US societies that these higher rates of offense were amongst the lower categories ( Williams and McShane, 1988: 79-83 ) . These theories of anomy and strain theory all take the same way as Marxist theory in that they believe there to be a division in society between working category and the opinion category. With the governing category keeping the most power and the on the job category seeking to accomplish this. The power held by the dominant category has besides been termed ‘cultural capital’ ( Giddens, ) .

Marxism influences cultural capital. Pierre Bourdieu another sociologist influenced by Marx argues that it is the instruction system, to fault for the failure of the working category, non the working category civilization. He referred to the cultural capital as those who were in ownership of the dominant civilization and idea this could be translated in to wealth and power through the instruction system. He claimed that cultural capital in category construction was non equally proportionate and he could see this in the category construction through the disparities in instruction attainment achieved by those of different categories. Bourdieu claims that in-between category pupils win better than those of the working category as they are the dominant civilization. He states that instruction attainment is straight related to those who possess the most cultural capital ( Giddens – Sociology ) .

Gramsci was a Marxist mind in the 20Thursdaycentury whose work evaluated civilization and political leading. He believed that the middle class uphold control, that they developed a hegemonic civilization which he saw transmitted its ain set of norms and values that merely became common sense values and norms of everyone. Peoples from categories outside the opinion category acknowledged their ain good with the good of the opinion category. Marxism ever expected a revolution in capitalist societies but by early 20Thursdaycentury no revolution had occurred in such advanced states. Gramsci’s theory suggested that capitalist economy maintained control non merely through political and economic coercion, but besides through political orientation every bit good. ( Perry Anderson, 1976. ( The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci. New Left Review ) . Sentence TO WRAP IT UP

Marxism saw the creative activity of two different groups that were created through the rise of capitalist economy ; the opinion category ( middle class ) and the on the job category ( labor ) and he claimed that these two categories offered nil but “new conditions of subjugation, new signifiers of battle in topographic point of old ones” . They saw that the labor of the working category needed to be exploited in order for the opinion category to derive more capital. Marxism referred to this as subjugation and believed that the governing category exercised their power over the on the job category in order to command them. Rusche ( 1980 ) took the same attack in his theory of penalty and societal construction. He states that when rewards go up because of the deficiency of labor that this in bend causes the governing category to use their power to provide the demand for inexpensive labor. Rusche saw that the development of prison labor began to be the preferable method over old methods such as bodily and capital penalty. He claims that

When a labor excess occurs, rewards go down doing a mass unemployment ensuing in highly high punishments, such as bodily and capital penalty executed in a agonizing manner. This is thought to be needed in order to maintain offense down”( Rusche, 1980: ? ? ) .

During the industrial epoch the opinion category turned prisons in to workhouses which were named the house of rectification. These were set up in a command to assist provide their demand for inexpensive labor. The house of correction’s chief purpose and focal point was at that place to do those that didn’t want to work and was unwilling to work, to do them work. Rusche and Kircheimer ( 1939 ) claimed that by being forced to work within this establishment that the captives would pick up accomplishments in the hope that they could take with them to the labour market on release. During period where labor was in extra, and the attitude changed toward the hapless, it became unprofitable to coerce people to work and prisons became warehouses for people that he besides claimed cost money. He besides claimed that the attitudes towards penalty demand to alter when the life conditions of the working category began to acquire worst. In order to see that people were being punished harmonizing the conditions of the prison had to be worse than those of the captives conditions on the out side of prison. As Jenner ( 2014 ) stated “the conditions need to be markedly more unpleasant than the conditions of life experienced by those of the lowest strata life free in society” . This of class, had economic advantages, less nutrient was needed and no medical aid offered, but it came to be seen that the life conditions of the working category, did non ‘vary’ much, from those of the prison. This caused the conditions to deteriorate even worst in an effort to discourage the working category non to stop up inside the prison ( Rusche and Kirchiemer, 1939 ) .

Evidence to back up these theories that prison is a manner of commanding the working category by the governing category can be seen in the inequalities of the prison population. Harmonizing to a study by NACRO ( 1997a ; 1997b ) England and Wales have one of the highest prison populations in Western Europe which in 1997 was every bit high as 61,000. They reckoned this figure could lift by the twelvemonth 2005 to 82,000. A national study done by the Home Office carried out on prison population in 1991 showed that it was made up by uneducated immature work forces, many whom had an cultural minority background. His survey found some interested figures in grounds of the theories that have been presented in this essay. This survey found that 40 % of the prison population to be under 25 but over 18 compared to 16 % of the general population ; this shows there is a immense over representation of immature work forces between 18-25 old ages old, imprisoned. It found that 41 % of captives either posed no accomplishments or had really small, compared to 18 % of the general population ; once more a big over representation of unskilled labour force. This survey besides found that 15 % of captives were from Black or Asian cultural minorities yet these minorities merely make up 5 % of the general population. 40 % of captives under the age of 25 had left school before they were supposed to, compared with merely 11 % of the general population. 38 % of captives under 21 had experienced being in attention whilst merely 2 % of the general population experience this and 13 % said they did non hold a topographic point to populate before they entered the prison system ( Walmsley et al. , 1992 cited in NACRO, 1997b ) . From these figures and our cognition of Marxism with respects to category battle and the segregation of the lower category, how the opinion category exert their power over the on the job category and how they use this power to command, we can see that the prison has been used in the same manner. That it is a mere control of the middle class command to command the on the job category. This can besides be seen in the application of jurisprudence and how the middle class incorrect behaviors do non fall under any jurisprudence but as mentioned earlier autumn under administrative and regulating Torahs in order to protect their ain. This could besides be argued in the instance of why white neckband offense does non acquire much attending paid to it over condemnable jurisprudence.


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