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The social conflicts and criminal allegations associated with Canadian mining companies

Question:

Examine the reports on Canadian Mining Industry from the lenses of A) Marxist Criminology B) Feminist Criminology C) Intersectional Criminology.

Canada is considered as one of the top mining countries but the operations of majority of the mining corporations have been associated with social conflicts and violations of human rights including sexual violence against women. The mining corporations majority of which has their headquarters located in Canada have also been involved in issues pertaining to their operations that are resulting in environmental degradations.

This paper aims at analyzing the social conflicts and criminal allegations associated with the Mining industries through the lenses of Marxist criminology theory, feminist theory and intersectional criminology theories based on the CEDAW report and the ‘Canada Brand’ that highlights the human rights violations and sexual violence against women committed by Canadian Mining industries.

The report submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women alleges that Canada has been favoring and providing financial assistance to Mining companies operating overseas are engaged in discriminatory practices against women, subjecting them to heinous crimes like rape and violence.

A recent case at Papua new Guinea’s Porgera gold mine that has been operating for years by the Canadian miner Barrick gold, local women have lodged complaints against the mine security personnel who have been involved in committing sexual violence and brutal gang rape against the women working the mine.

Imai, states that this report talks about the violence and criminalization that is associated with the Canadian mining industry in Latin America. It lists the incidents that have been attributed by the Canadian mining companies. The operations of almost more than thousand Canadian mining companies have been associated with social conflicts and violation of human rights as well as by negative environmental consequences.

The involvement of the Canadian corporations in committing serious violence or abuse against women is not an isolated allegation as there are systematic and persistent reports against the Canadian extractive sector that are operating overseas to be involved in serious violations of human rights. While some of the women victims have been entitled to remedies, others are pursuing legal remedies. Women who are unable to seek legal remedies due to their financial restraints or fear of social stigma, have no other option but to live with the injustice caused to them.

Although the theories on criminology include elements of social conflict, the theories do not emphasize on a major restructuring of the society. The theories perceive criminal behavior, the law and the penalties imposed for violating the law to be the outcomes of deep inequalities of resources and power that prevails in the society (Cowling 77).

Analyzing the crimes committed by the mining industry through Marxist criminology

According to Brock, the Marxist criminology theory is based on the concept of class struggle (Cowling 94). The bourgeoisie or the oppressor who aim to keep the labor costs low and the proletariats or the oppressed who strived to keep the labor costs as high as possible. He believed that in capitalist society, the individuals are affected by egoism where poor people committed crime due to economic necessity and the rich commits crime for their greed (Spitzer 17). Marxist criminology theory asserts that in the advanced countries of capitalism, the changing pattern of production and tendency to make super-profits has led to the incline in employment of women who are subjected to the worst form of exploitation.

Matthews, Rick and William states that as per the modern Marxist criminology, class struggle is perceived as the main source of all crimes which includes violations of human rights, sexism, racism and capitalism. Capitalism generates egoism and ignores humanity as it relies on competition for valuable resources, setting persons against persons or groups against groups only to make profits accomplish their objectives.


In regards to the crimes committed by the mining industry for the accomplishment of the profit making objectives of the company, a recent case study may be taken into account. This is evident from the ‘Canada Brand’ report where cases related to Escobal mine were reported. The establishment of the mine was protested by the residents as the mine would have a adverse effect on the water supply of the region, thus, affecting the farmers communities within the region. Here, this cases study demonstrates the Marxist criminology theory of class oppressions between the bourgeoisie (mining industry) and proletariats (farmer community) in Guatemala where the charges brought against the mining industry were discharged due to lack of evidence or false evidences statements.

According to Morash, in regards to violence committed against women as observed in CEDAW report, Hudbay’s Fenux mine demonstrates an example of class inequality between the rich and the poor. In Guatemala, 11 women were sexually exploited and homes were burned down resulting in deaths and several injuries caused to the residents who protested against eviction of indigenous communities for the establishment of the Hudbay mine. This incident depicts the Marxist criminology theory of class inequality that leads to commission of crimes for earning profits.

According to Morash, the radical feminism theory emphasizes that the origin of patriarchy and the subordination of women rest in male aggression who exercises control over the sexuality of women. The aggressiveness in men is inherent and women are dependent on men, which makes it easy for men to control and dominate women (Chesney-Lind 648).

Examining gender-based violence in mining through feminist theories

The sexual exploitation of women in Fenix, Guatemala is evident of the fact that gender oppression is an obvious feature of capitalist societies where the dependency of females on men and their disadvantages with respect to the size makes the women subjected to dominance and control (Chesney-Lind 646). The structure of both relations of production and domination are patriarchic. Most of the women working in the mine or those who protested against the establishment of mines became easily subjected to the powerful and more aggressive men, given that they lacked power and belonged to the oppressed class. The women, mostly belonging to the indigenous group were subjected to exploitation due to their incompetency to fight back while they are exploited.

According to the Potter, the intersectional criminology theory includes several aspects of humanity such as race, class, sexual orientation, gender and disability, which are said to be interconnected as their relationship, is crucial to understand the human condition. This theoretical framework can be used to understand the social inequality and injustice existing in the system in several ways (Potter 306). Imai states that racism, classism, sexism do not act separately instead they are interwoven and form several forms of oppression, thus, developing a system of oppression that itself demonstrates combination of several forms of discrimination. Similarly, in case of the criminalization with which Canadian mining industry is associated with, it reflects the injustice and social inequality in the system is the result of classism, sexism and racism.

This is evident from the fact when the establishment of the mining industries in Guatemala and the Escobar mine were into process, it not only resulted in violent eviction of the indigenous communities which signifies oppression of racism. The establishment of Escobar mine also had an adverse impact on the environment and the charges made by the farmers and the local residents were either dismissed due to lack of evidence or covered with false statements made advanced by the mining leaders. This represented classism where the leaders subjected the workers or the poor class to oppression and exploitation (Potter 310).

Thus, based on the theories, it can be inferred that the transformation of capitalist society into a socialist community shall reduce the incline in the crime rate. The exhibition of respect towards human rights can only prevent further exploitation of humans and the environment as well.

Reference list

Boyce, Jillian. "Victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada, 2014." Juristat: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (2016): 1.

Brock, Deborah, Amanda Glasbeek, and Carmela Murdocca. Criminalization, Representation, Regulation: Thinking Differently about Crime. University of Toronto Press, 2014.

CEDAW (2016) Report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against ?Women. (2018). 65th ed. [ebook] Canada. Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2886584 [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

Chesney-Lind, Meda. "Girls' crime and woman's place: Toward a feminist model of female delinquency." Crime & Delinquency35.1 (1989): 5-29.

Cowling, Mark. "Radical US Criminology." Marxism and Criminological Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2008. 72-104.

Imai, Shin. "The'Canada Brand': Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America." (2016).

Matthews, Rick A., and William J. Chambliss. "Marxist criminology." Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer New York, 2014. 2989-2998.

Miningwatch.ca. (2018). Report to UN Committee: Canada Complicit in Mining Companies’ Pervasive Abuses Against Women | MiningWatch Canada. [online] Available at: https://miningwatch.ca/news/2016/10/4/report-un-committee-canada-complicit-mining-companies-pervasive-abuses-against-women [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

Morash, Merry. Feminist theories of crime. Routledge, 2017.

Potter, Hillary. "Intersectional criminology: Interrogating identity and power in criminological research and theory." Critical Criminology 21.3 (2013): 305-318.

Spitzer, Steven. "Toward a Marxian theory of deviance." Social problems 22.5 (1975): 638-651.

Whyte, David, ed. Crimes of the powerful: A reader. Open University Press, 2009.

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[Accessed 26 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Analyzing Social Conflicts And Criminal Allegations In The Mining Industry Through Marxist And Feminist Criminology Theories In An Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/canadian-mining-industry> accessed 26 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. Analyzing Social Conflicts And Criminal Allegations In The Mining Industry Through Marxist And Feminist Criminology Theories In An Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 26 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/canadian-mining-industry.

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