The key concepts in the neo marxist perspectives
This assignment sample contains a brief description of the key concepts in the Neo-Marxist perspectives. In case you are searching for an easy-to-understand explanation of the same topic of sociology, this content can prove to be useful for you. Neo-Marxism shows different aspects of Interactionist and Marxist theory to elaborate on the criminalisation of ethnic minorities by the state. Here, you will get to know about the perspectives which are actually the main essence of the whole concept of Neo-Marxism. From a general introduction to showing how Neo-Marxism considered as a revived Marxist view of crime this assignment sample will also provide a sneak peek to Later on terms like “symbol of deviance” and “possessive materialism”. All this to conclude that Neo-Marxism to society is undeniable and important.
Outline the key concepts in the Neo-Marxist perspectives and explain their vital contribution to society
The Key Concepts in the Neo-Marxist Perspectives
Neo-Marxism “draws on aspects of Marxist and Interactionist theory in order to explain the criminalisation of ethnic minorities by the media and the state” (Revise Sociology, 2016). It must be noted that the classic study from the perspective is Stuart Hall’s Policing of Crisis – the phenomenal work in which he has examined the moral panic that gradually developed over the time of dilemmas that emerged in the 1970s (Revise Sociology, 2016). In the 1970s there were newspaper reports that claimed that there was an increase in a mugging and that also particularly within the young black men group in London. But it was Hall who researched and conveyed that the phenomenon of the mugging was growing more slowly than it did in the previous decade (Revise Sociology, 2016). Neo-Marxism can be considered as traditional Marxism ingrained with theories like labelling theory and the proponents of Neo-Marxism include Taylor, Walton, and Young to be specific. The Neo –Marxist perspective views the capitalist society as a means of exploitation and it also believes that the state formulates and enacts laws that are beneficial for the elite class only. Moreover, the Neo-Marxist perspective denotes that to eradicate crime and to experience a crimeless society, a classless society should have to be established.
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Neo-Marxism: A revived Marxist view of crime
It must be noted that Neo-Marxism is a term that is loosely applied to any such social theory of sociological analysis that has the potential to draw on ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. But it must be noted that the term actually “amends or extends these, usually by incorporating elements from other intellectual traditions such as, for example, psychoanalysis (as in the case of critical theory), Weberian sociology (as in Erik Olin Wright’s theory of contradictory class locations), or anarchism (as in the example of critical criminology)” (“Neo-Marxism”, 2006). It must be noted that Neo-Marxism should be considered as a revived Marxist view of crime which argues that the primary cause of crime is a class system and capitalism. This is because both class system and capitalism “instil into people the importance of possessive materialism i.e. the accumulation of material wealth and possessions” (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013). In this regard, it must be said that critical criminologists argue that it is only by the rejection of capitalism and establishment of a socialist theory that the basis for a crime-free society can be established in a thorough manner (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013). Taylor, Walton and Young in the 1970s infused new perspectives into the body of Neo-Marxism. The proponents of Neo-Marxism in this particular period focused more on the utilization and blending of both Marxism and Interactionism so that the root of crime can be properly understood. If Marxism put more importance on the society and the functions of capitalism in the process of triggering crime then interactionism deals with how different situations develop through the close-knit relationship between the person who has been the victim, the offender, the media, the justice system of the land, etc. (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013).
Perspectives of Neo-Capitalism
Origins of deviant reaction
One of the primary perspectives of Neo-Capitalism is that normal criminals depict their anguish against the political situations and they vent their anger through the process of committing crimes (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013). For the Neo-Marxist perspective, crime is a more political act than social act (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013). From the Neo-Marxist perspectives, if seen, it can be observed that perpetrators of crime are not wicked or decadent; rather, they are the victims of the ills of capitalism. The Neo-Marxist perspective judges the acts of deviance from a wider point of view. Neo-Marxists are more interested in observing the direct cause of the action that can be termed as a symbol of deviance.
Moreover, the instant origins of the social reaction to the deviant act are also a matter of consideration in terms of the Neo-Marxist perspective (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013). If judged from the Neo-Marxist perspective, then it can be seen that there are wider origins of any deviant reaction and the effects of labelling on the deviants’ future actions might result into labelling that could only sometimes lead to an amplification of the deviant spiral (“Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas”, 2013).
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Politics and public policy work within the system of Capitalism
It must be noted that the Neo-Marxist perspective is the one that views class division under capitalism as more essential than gender/sex divisions within a society. The issues of race and ethnicity also have been undermined for the time being by the Neo-Marxist perspective. Moreover, the Neo-Marxist perspective entails a group of beliefs that denotes a common rejection of economic or class determinism and it also encompassed a belief in the semi-autonomy of the social sphere (“Neo-Marxism”, 2006). The Neo-Marxist perspective claims that “most social science, history, and literary analysis works from within capitalist categories and say neo-Marxism is based on the total political-economic-cultural system” (“Neo-Marxism”, 2006). Furthermore, it must be stated that the Neo-Marxist perspective has always attempted to explain how politics and public policy work within the system of Capitalism (Willyard, 2016). To be specific, the Neo-Marxist perspective talks about how the state helps in reproducing capitalist relations and specific other relations that relate both the corporate and state actors (Willyard, 2016).
Judging from the Neo-Marxist perspective it must be stated that the theory itself is anti-deterministic as it does not believe in the theory that crime is committed only out of economic necessity. No sole external factor can cause crime and this is yet another perspective of Neo-Marxism. It must also be noted that the Neo-Marxist perspective also focuses on voluntarism and it assumes crime as a conscious choice made by an individual having a political motive essentially. The perspective on Neo-Marxism also relies on the essence of liberty and diversity and believes that any individual should be provided with freedom and autonomy and any urge for such can turn the capitalist system to label the individual to be deviant by nature.
Neo-Marxism: Undeniable and Important Contribution to Society
One must take into account the fact that the contribution of Neo-Marxism to society is undeniable and important. As Swedberg (1987) has stated, “Like feminism, neo-marxism swept like a breath of fresh air into the rather stale economic sociology of the 1960s.” As a contribution to society, Neo-Marxism enriched the criminal justice system that is meant for protecting and safeguarding society. It added to the theories of crime yet another theory that crime is not always individual-oriented but it is also economy and class struggle-oriented. Deviance that had been previously thought as an individual anomaly has been interpreted as a socio-economic and political phenomenon by the Neo-Marxists, and this has also made it quite easier for sociologists, criminologists and psychologists, to relate the political and class situations to the deterioration in the thought process of an individual. Moreover, it must be noted that Neo-Marxism infused new life in the body of argument against a class-based society. The fact that crime and deviance both are related to the class system and capitalism has also been identified and justified by Neo-Marxism. And in this respect, Neo-Marxism has pointed out that “Social change or crises occurred as a result of the contradictions between validity claims of systems of norms and justifications that cannot explicitly permit exploitation, and a class structure in which privileged appropriate of socially produced wealth is a rule. The result was ‘heightened repression’ in order to maintain system integration” (Mondal, n.d.). And this should also be considered as a contribution of Neo-Marxism to social thinking and sociology. Hence, it can be said that adding to Marxism and filling the voids in Marxism with different other theoretical perspectives, Neo-Marxism brought new life in the body of Marxism and class conflict theory.
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Mondal, P. (n.d.). Neo-Marxist Theories: Useful notes on Neo-Marxist Theories. [online] Available at: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/sociology-essay/neo-marxist-theories-useful-notes-on-neo-marxist-theories/39912 [Accessed January 10, 2018]
Neo-Marxism (2006). [online] Available at: http://www.markfoster.net/struc/nm.html [Accessed January 10, 2018]
Neo-Marxism/Critical Criminology: Key Ideas (2013). [online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/mattyp99/neo-mx-critical-criminology [Accessed January 10, 2018]
Revise Sociology (2016). Ethnicity and Crime: Neo-Marxist Approaches. [online] Available at: https://revisesociology.com/2016/11/16/ethnicity-and-crime-neo-marxist-approaches/ [Accessed January 10, 2018]
Swedberg, R. (1987). The Neo-Marxist Contribution. [online] Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/001139287035001010
Willyard, K. (2016). Marxism, Neo-Marxism and the Politics of Public Policy. [online] Available at: http://www.katewillyard.com/academic-blog/marxism-neo-marxism-and-the-politics-of-public-policy [Accessed January 10, 2018]
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