The term false consciousness provides contributes to the understanding that there are economic biases, ideological processes and social inequalities within the criminal justice system and the scale is tipped in favour of the wealthy (White, Haines, & Eisler, 2008, p. 111). The ruling elite pass laws which focus on a select population which are believed to be responsible for damaging crimes. Law enforcement is responsible for upholding the laws without questioning their bias nature as well as not allocating enough resources to the investigation of white collar crime. The media also plays a significant role in the distorted view of crimes that harm society by reporting on violence rather than corporate crimes. False consciousness is the concept of the working class being ignorant of their exploitation by the capitalist system which is created by legislators, law enforcement and the media.
Laws created by the elite ruling class contribute to the unbalanced view on crime. The laws created do not simply reflect the reality of crime; rather the laws help to shape the reality that we see. It is the responsibility of politicians to define criminal acts and prohibit dangers that minimize public safety (Reiman & Paul, 2010, p. 60). Legislation is created by a select group of powerful individuals that overlook the severely disadvantaged. The overrepresentation of young, black, males from urban centers within the justice system is due to laws created which target them as opposed to the old, white, males with wealth that engages in white-collar crime (Reiman & Paul, 2010, pp. 60-61). In the same manner that a carnival mirror distorts an individual’s appearance, legislators also magnify certain criminal behaviours, worki...
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...se responsible for the creation of law and the enforcement of said laws are contributing to the carnival mirror by targeting young, black, males from urban centers in particular. A focus on street crimes over white collar crimes is a discriminatory practice by the capitalist system. Corporate crimes create societal damages but are often not recognised since resources are allocate to the fight against crimes committed by the lower classes. By allowing the system to continue operating in this capitalist fashion, false consciousness continues and the working class suffers.
Reiman, J., & Paul, L. (2010). The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
White, R., Haines, F., & Eisler, L. (2008). Crime & criminology: An introduction. Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press.
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