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Name Date Course Section/# Article Summary and Analytical Review: Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration In analyzing the article, “Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration”, the reader is brought face to face with how economic inequalities and sub cultural divergence work to actively steer at risk youth towards a life defined by correctional institutions and frequent run-ins with the criminal justice system…
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Section/# Article Summary and Analytical Review: Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration In analyzing the article, “Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration”, the reader is brought face to face with how economic inequalities and sub cultural divergence work to actively steer at risk youth towards a life defined by correctional institutions and frequent run-ins with the criminal justice system. In this way, the reader is made aware of one of the preeminent shortcomings of the increasingly institutionalized nature of our schools. Furthermore, by analyzing the Marxist perspective, the author is able to draw a level of inference with regards to criminal justice and crime that has not previously been analyzed as a function of rebellion against existing systems and norms. Rather than taking an approach that certain select environmental factors help contribute to crime, the author works to show how the very institutions that help to define our current society are at least partly responsible for a high ratio of individuals who do not “fit” into the confines of these institutions and are therefore led towards a life of crime. Similarly, the effects of non-inclusion and poverty on the likelihood of individuals to revert to a life of crime has been analyzed ad nauseam; however, to this author’s credit, she takes a much different approach and provides an analysis based on the level of conformism that is exhibited in our current society and attempts to extrapolate this to draw a larger inference upon the total level of criminality that society is currently experiencing. Likewise, by using the Marxist perspective, the author is able to incorporate aspects of both group influence and individualist influence upon the development of criminal behavior among individuals. Moreover, by taking such a differentiated approach, the author provides the reader with a nuanced framework within which to attempt to quantify and understand the effects of our increasingly institutionalized lives. In this context, the reader is able to understand the Marxist arguments as a means of providing an element of revolt and rebellion to a formalized system that has been put into place. This concept of class revolt is integral towards understanding what motivates many disaffected youth to actively seek out to misalign themselves with society. Rather than a purely economic revolt, this type of revolt that is described by the author as one in which the shareholder actively separates himself/herself from the given group as a means of revolution against that which has not accepted them. At its core, this lack of acceptance is what drives such individuals (Taibleson, 2011). Rather than a traditional understanding of crime, this author attempts to categorize it as a simple rebellion against the commons norms and mores of contemporary society, and as a function of the highly institutionalized way in which nearly every facet of life is now seemingly regulated. However, more than merely covering the topic of how sub cultures that have worked to adopt elements of rebellion against traditional institutions and norms of society, the author works to paint a clear picture involving the fact that oftentimes even if crime is not perpetrated by an individual who feels a sense of exclusion from the standard culture, the habits and norms of behavior of the given sub culture that the individual is necessarily drawn to has the effect of acquainting them with a host of negative personality traits that may likely to be used to perpetrate crime at a later point in time (Sims, 1997). Through analyzing the article based on a cultural and sociological framework, the author is able to draw inference upon the likely outcomes of individuals associated with such a culturally deviant perspective. What is of special note to the analyst is the fact that the author presents a system whereby poverty, lack of opportunity, social exclusion, cultural difference, and a host of other factors contribute to what can only be described as a perfect storm of frustration and exclusionary feelings with relation to the broader group or whole in question. Rather than a single figure providing a causal factor for this sense of detachment and dissatisfaction, it is each of these working in concert with one another that serves to separate an individual from the cultural mores of the given institution in question. Once this separation has been effected, all efforts by subsequent institutions, the criminal justice system and its rehabilitation efforts included, are likely to be seen as a furtherance of the existential threat the preconceived notions regarding other institutions have formed. References Sims, B. A. (1997). Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 34(1), 5-24. Taibleson, R. (2011). Negative Reciprocity and Law. Law & Psychology Review, 351-36. Read More
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