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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70051 Find in a Library
Title: Further Critical Thoughts on Marxist Criminology - Comments on Turk, Toby, and Klockars (From Radical Criminology, P 133-138, 1980, by James A Inciardi See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): R L Akers
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Commentary on essays by Austin Turk, Jackson Toby, and Carl Klockars centers on the adequacy of American-style Marxist criminology as both a theory of crime or of criminal justice and an ideology or political philosophy.
Abstract: Theories of crime and deviance must first address how behavior comes to be defined as deviant and how society responds to it. Secondly, these theories must address the development of deviant behavior and its distribution in society. Marxist criminology does not offer an answer to the second, but aims mostly at accounting for the definition and control of crime. Class, then, for conflict, radical, or Marxist criminology is important not so much as a cause of crime, but as an explanation of why certain things are defined as crime and why crime is responded to in the way it is. Yet while Marxist criminology may be overconcerned with class dogma, none of the new criminologies (Marxist, conflict, or labeling) have explained the importance of legalistic variables in criminal justice processing that has proven research to outweigh the importance of discrimination by social characteristics. From an ideological perspective, radical critiques of American society sometimes make it appear as if democratic societies have the same repressive characteristics of such societies as South Africa or Nazi Germany. In neither communist nor democratic societies is the ideal achieved, however, and when comparisons are made, the real and historic societies based on Marxist doctrine invariably look worse than the real and historic societies based on democratic ideals. As a blueprint for the good society, the Marxist ideal has not proven to be reliable. Socialist societies have been unable to deliver on the promise of classlessness and economic equality, but are characterized by self-serving, privileged party elites controlling the criminal justice system which some Marxists claim is true for capitalist society. No references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-50 and 70052-62.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
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