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May 11, 2018 / C H Thompson

Social-class and crime – revision notes with evaluation

  • Most criminals are also from a working class background.
  • There are more working class people in prison than any other social class.
  • The Home Office also shows that the majority of people that appear in court are working class, irrespective of whether they are found to be guilty or not.
  • Middle class crime such as fraud and white collar crimes are often seen as a ‘victimless crime’ by the public.


  • Marxists argue that that the working class aren’t actually any more criminal than any other class,
  • but due to the system of law and order being protected by the ruling class, the working class get criminalised by a biased system.
  • Sutherland was one of the first sociologists to point out that crime isn’t just a working class act, but can be found throughout all sections of society.
  • He described white collar crime as being something that’s committed by the more affluent who abused their positions within their middle-class occupations.
  • Interactionists would argue that the official statistics should be viewed with caution as they aren’t reliable due to being social constructions.


The explanations into the issue of age, social class and crime can be linked back to the subcultural theorists previously discussed, as they discuss the issue in greater depth. For example:


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