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NCJ Number: 84139 Find in a Library
Title: Declining Economy and Sociological Theories of Crime Predictions and Explications (From Crime and Criminal Justice in a Declining Economy, P 5-25, 1981, Kevin N Wright, ed. - See NCJ-84138)
Author(s): S M Hughes; T J Carter
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Publishers, Inc
Boston, MA 02116
Sale Source: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Publishers, Inc
131 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The predictions of Marxist, anomie, and labeling theories regarding crime patterns in a declining economy are outlined, and guidance is provided for the empirical testing of these theories.
Abstract: Marxian criminology predicts an increase in criminal activity in a declining economy for all classes of potential offenders and for all kinds of crimes. This prediction is based on the view that criminal behavior is an alternative form of production which may be tapped when the capitalist economy is in decline. Although capitalists and workers alike will engage in crime, official crime statistics will reflect primarily the crimes of the poor because of the influential positions of those engaged in corporate crime. Also, the repressive actions of the state will intensify producing a corresponding violent reaction in the citizenry. Anomie theory predicts an increase for all crimes with any abrupt change in the economy, either up or down, because of a general lessening of social control when expectations and realization are not in balance. Labeling theory's predictions are all contingent on the reaction of social control institutions to the threat of crime in a declining economy, with the assumption that an increase in arrest rates will produce an increase in subequent crime because of the labeling impact on criminal behavior. Data obtained during times of economic decline should determine whether and to what degree each theory prediction is borne out either partially, completely, or not at all. The combining of the tenets of the theories may result from this empirical testing. A total of 42 notes are listed. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Alienation; Crime prediction; Economic crime models; Labeling theory; Radical criminology; Unemployment
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