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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70053 Find in a Library
Title: Carl Klockars vs the 'Heavy Hitters' - A Preliminary Critique (From Radical Criminology, P 149-160, 1980, by James A Inciardi - See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): D O Friedrichs
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
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: Carl Klockar's, 'The Contemporary Crises of Marxist Criminology' is critiqued from the position of a soft radical criminology.
Abstract: Soft radical criminology subscribes to a structure of economic relations as a starting point for understanding crime and criminal justice and to the need for a fundamental socialistic transformation as a precondition for reduction of criminality, but disavows a total rejection of contemporary American society. Klockars attacks radical criminology for not seeing the beneficial effects on society of class; yet Klockars does not seem to want to admit to the real poverty and psychic damage inherent in American lower classes. Klockars may be correct in suggesting that radical criminology is simpleminded in arguing that crime, criminal law, and criminal behavior can be comprehensively and exclusively explained by reference to class. Yet radical criminologists see class and the capitalist system as the basic departure point, providing the larger framework within which crime, criminal behavior, and criminal law must be understood. Structural Marxist criminologists concede that many specific laws do not favor the capitalist elite, but rather the underprivileged; yet, they point out that the overriding thrust and purpose of the criminal justice system is geared toward maintenance of the existing social order and capitalist economy. Radical criminologists have challenged the assumption that criminal law systematically identifies objectively harmful acts by pointing to the crimes of the rich which so often go undetected. And while civil liberties laws protect ordinary citizens, the role of capitalist society in generating conditions bound to promote street crime has been properly highlighted by radical criminologists. Thus, radical criminology has challenged the traditional explicit and implicit truth claims of mainstream criminology, expecially insofar as neglect of the structural impact of the economic order is concerned. Meanwhile, however, radical criminology must resolve its own contradictions and respond positively and substantially to its critics. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-52 and 70054-62. Eight notes and 42 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
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