Sociological Perspective Of Punishment Is Economic Determinism And Class Interest

1459 Words Apr 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Garland, D. (2015). Sociological perspective of punishment. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2015].

The second justification for punishment are economic determinism and class interest. Marxist see punishment in relation to the economic structure of society in which it takes place and to the class system, which as a result it promotes by penal practices and ideologies. In other words, the labour market has an impact on the choice of penal methods, and punishment serves the interest of the dominant class. Following from this Rusche and Kircheimer attempted to show that the penal practices in any society is directly linked to the mode of production, they highlighted that a shift from slavery to feudalism saw a shift in punishment whereby, penal slavery was done away with, and fine was no longer a choice for punishing the majority. Instead, feudalism relied on capital and corporal punishment because at that time there was no need for a labour force (the penal reform, 69) However, when the demand for labour appears to surpass supply, then the state and its penal institution were less inclined to dispense with offenders. An illustration of this can be seen in punishment such as transportation and the house of correction, whereby Capitalism needed more labour so it…
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