Coercion and Crime

Thomas Vander Ven and Mark Colvin

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747238
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Coercion and Crime

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Theories of Crime



This article explores the link between coercion and crime and how this link has evolved. It also presents five propositions relating coercion to crime. First, coercion is a primary mechanism in the social reproduction process of class society. Second, coercive messages from the larger culture help to enhance the coercive nature of this process. Third, economic conditions help shape the coerciveness of society. Fourth, long-term changes in crime rates are influenced by shifts in impersonal coercive forces related to economic and cultural changes. Fifth, the ratio of coercion to social support within a society is correlated with the shifting balance of power between capital and labor in continuing class struggles under capitalism.

Keywords: coercion; crime; social reproduction; class society; economic conditions; culture; social support; capital; labor; capitalism

Article.  8175 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Theories of Crime

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