Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels: Capitalism and Crime
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels are the founding fathers of an important paradigm of social theory, known as historical materialism or simply as Marxism. Their work is central to conflict theory and influences a wide range of social and political thought, including some approaches to criminology. Only a few points in their voluminous work deal directly with issues of crime and criminality, yet this has provided a firm, although contested, grounding for Marxist criminology. This entry explains Marx and Engels's conception of how capitalism as a mode of production both defines disorderly populations as criminal, and produces the conditions of disorder that make such criminality likely in the first place. It also discusses their ideas regarding alienation, as the means through which these disorderly conditions result both in criminality and in working class resistance, which is in turn criminalized. Criticisms of Marx and Engels's approach, which argue that it is ...