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White Collar Crime/ Corporate Crime - Research Paper Example

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The concept of white collar crime was initially put forward by Edwin Sutherland, a renowned criminologist and sociologist, in 1939, in a speech when he was talking to the American Sociological Society, emphasizing upon the inclusion of, in the study of criminology, criminal activities performed by reputed businessmen and corporations. …
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White Collar Crime/ Corporate Crime
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Download file to see previous pages Since then, the term white collar crime has been introduced which has now “become an established part of the vernacular of criminology” (Schlegel & Weisburd, 1994, p.3), and since then it has been a hot topic of debate as well. “White collar crime tends to refer to crimes committed at a business by a businessman or woman”, (Conjecture Corporation, 2011, para.1). Sutherland, in his December 27, 1939 speech, asserted the fact that when people are surrounding by individuals who have criminal behavior, they are more likely to get involved in criminal activities. This called for the justice system to pose punishments upon these white collar criminals; however, these punishments are much lenient from those given to violent criminals, because white collar criminals are not actually aggressive criminals who commit crime in series. Same holds true for corporate crimes. Schlegel and Weisburd (1994, p.4) state that when Sutherland brought forward the concept, he was himself very much confused about the idea because he used words like “respectability, high social status, and occupation”, in his definition. ...
The concept of white collar or corporate crime changed the way criminologists studied crime. Before this phenomenon, they looked at crime as an activity which could only be performed by street muggers and people belonging to lower social class. But after this concept was introduced, the rich and the poor, all were considered equal in the case of criminal activities. Thus, Sutherland was able to bring powerful people at an equal status with the poor, in the eyes of the Court of Justice, and made sure that the rich people did not escape punishment due to their powerful political connections and strong financial position. Sutherland’s research and theory changed the field of criminology, and gave it a wider perspective which brought upper class and lower class criminals on same grounds. He also proposed the Differential Association Theory, which explained the way criminals (deviants) learn technical knowledge required in performing criminal activity (deviant). His Interactionist Theory of Deviance explained factors that make people exhibit criminal behavior. Why a white collar or a corporate crime is considered as less punishable than violent crimes is still questionable, because many white collar crimes tend to be more harmful to common people. If a white collar or corporate criminal steals all the funds that included people’s savings of their lives, then the victims lose everything if the money is not recovered. But the criminals are still punished less, and are given many concessions as compared to other criminals, because they belong to a higher socio-economic status. The white collar crime theory by Sutherland states that, to control this crime, it should be considered as serious criminal activity in all cases if it violates ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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