Sociology Index

BLUE-COLLAR CRIME

Blue-collar crimes are easier to detect, and have a clear victim. Blue-collar crime is any crime committed by an individual from a lower Social Class as opposed to White-Collar Crime. Blue-collar crime does not exclusively address low income earners in work, but also includes the unemployed who are also members of the lower classes. The phrase 'Blue-collar Crime" is not a legal term but is used to contrast illegal acts with white-collar crime. Blue-collar crime has no official legal classification. Blue-collar crime tends to be more obvious and attract more active police attention for crimes such as vandalism or shoplifting. While many who commit blue-collar crime are motivated offenders who come from disparate backgrounds and socio-economic standing, white-collar crime has come to be defined by criminologists as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." Women are more likely to commit low level Pink-Collar Crime such as check kiting from positions of less power. Blue-collar crimes are also those that involve local police known for wearing blue.

Manual labourers often opted for blue shirts, so that stains gained from days at work were less visible. Blue-collar crime holds to a general net group of crimes. Blue-collar crime are primarily small scale, for immediate beneficial gain to the individual or group involved in them. This can also include personal related crimes that can be driven by immediate reaction, such as during fights or confrontations. Blue-collar crime crimes includes narcotics production or distribution, sexual assault, theft, burglary, assault or murder.

There may be more white-collar crimes than blue collar crime, but a review of the literature reveals that more is known about blue-collar crimes like burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft than white-collar crime, even though the latter may have a much greater economic impact on society. Blue-collar crimes include Occupational Crime and Conventional Crime. The other collar crimes include Green-Collar Crimes and Red-collar Crime.

Blue-collar crime will more often use physical force whereas in the corporate world, the identification of a victim is less obvious and the issue of reporting is complicated by a culture of commercial confidentiality to protect shareholder value. Blue-collar crime also refers to police slang for an arrest of a suspect, or collar.

In the 1910s and the 1920s manual labourers opted for blue shirts, so that stains were less visible. Since manual labour was often exclusively assigned to the lower classes, the term was more permanently attributed to them. Blue-collar crime does not exclusively address low income earners in work, but also includes the unemployed who are also members of the lower classes.

The blue-collar worker in the United States is an embodiment of the American work ethic and the dignity of labor. A member of the working class blue-collar worker performs manual labor and earns an hourly wage. Some blue-collar jobs, such as those of janitors and unskilled laborers, may carry negative stereotype from perceptions that they represent minimal ability.

Blue-collar work may be skilled or unskilled, and may involve manufacturing, mining, building and construction trades. Blue-collar is derived from 19th century uniform dress codes of industrial workplaces. According to the sourcebook of criminal justice, 10,700 persons were charged with the blue collar crime of embezzlement in the United States in 2002. Blue-collar crime refers to crimes that are more obvious and easily detected by police authorities. Blue-collar crimes often involve an element of physical force and threats immediately recognizable as illegal. Blue-collar crime is also often associated with geographic regions with low income or with over-population issues.

Blue Collar Crime vs. White Collar Crime

The differences between blue-collar crime and white-collar crime become become important when discussing the punitive measures for blue-collar crime and white-collar crime. The legal system doesn’t officially differentiate crimes whether blue-collar crime or white-collar crime, but the distinctions between blue-collar crime and white-collar crime does impact impact prosecution. The two types differ not just in the criminal action itself but in the way they’re investigated and prosecuted.

Unlike blue-collar crimes, which usually fall under the jurisdiction of a single state, white-collar crimes commonly cross state lines because they involve bank accounts, wire transfers and computer use.

Unlike blue-collar crimes, white-collar crimes’ perpetrators are typically salaried individuals in high-powered positions.
Blue-collar crime is ruthlessly prosecuted. The perpetrators generally face incarceration and pay their debt to society. In the case of white-collar crime, it’s a different story. Those who commit white-collar crimes are often pardoned with a beating on the knuckles depending the magnitude of the crimes.

Perceptions of Blue-Collar Crime and White-Collar Crime: The Effect of Defendant Race on Simulated Juror Decisions - R A Gordon ; T A Bindrim ; M L McNicholas ; Teresa L Walden.
Burglary was chosen as a blue-collar crime and embezzlement as a white-collar crime. The authors hypothesized that a black defendant who committed a blue-collar crime would be judged more harshly than a white defendant accused of the same crime.