social crime

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Crime is sometimes regarded as social when it represents a conscious challenge to a prevailing social order and its values. Examples cited by Marxist historians include forms of popular action and popular customs in early-modern England (including poaching, wood theft, food riots, and smuggling), which were criminalized by the ruling class, but were not regarded as blameworthy, either by those committing them, or by the communities from which they came. The concept is controversial but does point to the fact that there may not be a consensus as to what constitutes a criminal act.

Subjects: Sociology.

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