Anomie as a Source of Crime Essay

Anomie as a Source of Crime, 501 words essay example

Essay Topic: crime, source

Marxist criminology is very similar to the work of the structural functionalism school, which emphases on what creates constancy and stability in society. It pays attention to why things change, recognizing the disrupting forces in developed societies, and relating how society is separated by power, status, and wealth along with the views of the world.

Karl Marx said that the law is the instrument by which one social class, commonly stated to as the "ruling class", retains all the other classes in a deprived place. Also to study the criminalization process, and describe why some acts are clearly defined as deviant while other acts are not. Marxist theories give answers as to why we incarcerate criminals without entitlements of crime deterrence, it is done so with the goal to control these deviant groups that are in that socially deprived place making them unstable, alienated and therefore dangerous to the public.

Criminal behavior is not a lower class monopoly, but is dispersed throughout the classes. Whereas the distribution of punishment falls tremendously and scientifically, on the poor and the underprivileged class. Biased decisionmaking in the criminal justice system guarantees that the socially privileged are regularly filtered out. The privileged are often given the benefit of the doubt, or are defined as a good risk, or they have the ability to access to the top legal guidance. Imprisonment is primarily used for the unemployed, poor, homeless, mentally ill, addicts, and individuals who do not have social support and personal assets. There is also a minority bias when it comes to looking at prison populations. By using Marxist theory we are able to comprehend why criminals from the working class are imprisoned when criminals from the middle or upper classes are not imprisoned. Marxist theories tells us then, that the reason we imprison criminals is to control those who are a threat to dominant values.

Durkheim gives the power of punishment to the state, in order to repair and continue social and collective conscience. Durkheim argued that crimes break social solidarity and once there is a right to punishment, then society can reestablish its trust in each other by punishing the criminal. However, Durkheim opposes that in complex modern societies, combined feelings of vengeance have been in a sense substituted by Anomie. This anomie has weakened punishment, which in turn leads to additional crimes and violations against the public. Durkheim debates that individuals are molded by their social experience. If the collective conscience is weakened say by an excessive amount of criminal behavior, the ethical ties that link us as people together are than too damaged. 

Durkheim described anomie as occurring when traditional norms of behavior were weakened without being swapped by new norms. He also said anomie was perceived as a very dangerous phenomenon. Mostly because when individuals no longer consider themselves as having responsibilities to others, they turn to selfinterest. Meaning these individuals are looking out for themselves with no thought as to what affect it could have on others. 

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