Sociology Index


Edwin Sutherland in 1945, referred to Occupational Crimes which are the illegal activities of businesses and corporations committed to further the goals of the business as white-collar crimes which are not Conventional Crimes. White collar crime or economic crime could include bribery, cyber crime, misappropriation, credit card fraud, identity theft, money laundering and counterfeiting. White-collar crimes were not regulated by criminal law but by regulatory laws of various kinds and examples of white-collar crimes include false advertising, anti-trust violations. Criminologists now call this Corporate Crime or Organizational Crime and reserve the term white-collar crime for those illegal acts committed by people in positions of trust in white-collar jobs, like, making personal long-distance calls on an employer's account. White-collar crime costs the United States as much as $400 billion annually. White-collar crimes have evolved over the years, so too has the white-collar criminal. It is this phenomenon that criminologists, sociologists, law enforcement, forensic accountants and fraud examiners must take into consideration as they investigate white-collar crimes. We also have Blue-collar Crime and Pink-collar Crime.

Types Of White-collar Crimes

By linking literatures in both white-collar criminology and environmental justice, sociologists have now begun to develop a framework for examining Green-collar Crimes. The other types of white-collar crimes include Red-collar Crime.

Definition of white-collar crime

Herbert Edelhertz defined white-collar crime as: an illegal act or series of illegal acts committed by nonphysical means and by concealment and guile, to obtain money or property, to avoid payment or loss of money or property, or to obtain business or personal advantage (White-collar Crime: History of an Idea, The Evolution of White-collar Crime, n.d., para. 7).

Nature of White-collar Crime

Understanding the Nature of White-collar Crime - Liu, Haiyan.
Abstract: Traditional criminological theorists tend not to directly address white-collar crime issues, while white-collar crime scholars haven’t been paying much attention to the development of major traditional criminological theories until very recently. While reviewing and comparing four major classical criminological theories, learning and differential association, rational choice theory and opportunity, strain and social control theory, this paper addresses the question that how these theories have been or could be used to explain the nature of white-collar crime.

Are White-Collar and Common Offenders the Same? An Empirical and Theoretical Critique of a Recently Proposed General Theory of Crime - MICHAEL L. BENSON, ELIZABETH MOORE -
Addresses two propositions on white-collar crime derived from a general theory of crime recently proposed by Gottfredson and Travis Warner Hirschi. This theory predicts that white-collar crime offenders are as criminally versatile as common offenders. Authors investigate the criminal records of white-collar crime and common offenders and their respective levels of participation in deviant behavior. Some white-collar crime offenders are involved in crime and deviance to much the same degree as typical street criminals. A more complex causal structure is needed to account for patterns of white-collar crime and white collar offenders. 

Women and White-Collar Crime 
George Robb, History Faculty, William Paterson University in New Jersey
Abstract: In Victorian society, women of the middle class were particularly vulnerable to white-collar crimes. This article uses financial literature, newspaper debates and popular fiction to demonstrate how women were victimized by white-collar crime.


White-Collar Crime Steals Thunder From Conventional Crime, Says Police Chief
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) - White collar crime steals the thunder from conventional crime as it affects the financial performance of commercial organisations in the country. Capitalists, corporate executives and even criminologists argued that white collar crime took a back seat to a strong national focus on more conventional crimes.


White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers
Specifying a Trajectory of Punctuated Situational Offending

Nicole Leeper Piquero, University of Florida, Michael L. Benson, University of Cincinnati
Abstract: The typical white-collar offender greatly differs from the typical street offender and does not appear to fit into the proposed explanations of life course offending patterns. Scholars have applied the terminology of the criminal career perspective to white-collar offending. Article summarizes the intersection of white-collar crime and criminal careers, and ways in which understandings of crime over the life course can be modified to account for white-collar crime patterns.

On the Moral Structure of White-Collar Crime
Mitchell N. Berman - University of Texas School of Law, Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 5, p. 301, 2007
Abstract: White-collar crime has long presented a puzzle for theorists of the criminal law. Some white-collar offenses are puzzling and we are perplexed about why the conduct at the core of the offense is criminalized. Insider trading is like this, assuming that it counts as white-collar crime. The contours of white-collar crime offenses ordinarily do, closely track the judgments of common-sense morality: Insider trading should be criminalized because it instantiates the underlying moral wrong of cheating. Essay challenges moral structure of white-collar crime. A satisfactory full account of the moral structure of white-collar crime law should be more sensitive than is Green's provocative and sophisticated theory.

Crimes of the Powerful: redefining white-collar crime?
Chambliss, William.
Abstract: By re-defining white collar crime as "crimes of the powerful" Frank Pearce provided a much needed change in focus. Pearce's, among other things, culled from the white collar crime package those powerless individuals, like the bank clerk who embezzles, from the powerful corporate managers. It made power a central feature of studies of white collar crime.


Identifying the Links Between White-Collar Crime and Terrorism
John Kane; April Wall - Corporate Author: National White Collar Crime Center United States. Annotation: This research report identifies the types of white-collar crimes used by a group for funding mechanisms and identity deception and suggests how lessons learned from white-collar crime investigations can provide guidance for State and local police and prosecutors who may investigate terrorist groups.

White-Collar Crime Victims and the Issue of Trust - Basia Spalek.
Abstract: This paper presents the results of a study exploring relationships of trust and distrust between the offender, the victims in a particular case of white-collar crime. This work builds upon previous research in white-collar crime, which has examined the consequences of white-collar offences upon trust towards social, political and economic institutions (Sutherland, 1949; Peters & Welch, 1980; Moore & Mills, 1990; Shover et al. 1994).

After Enron will ‘Whiter than White-Collar Crime’ Still Wash?
Doreen McBarnet, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford; The British Journal of Criminology 46:1091-1109 (2006)
In thinking about white-collar crime, it is not just crime that becomes problematic but compliance, particularly the practice of ‘creative compliance’. In the post-Enron era, can creative compliance by business still claim to be ‘whiter than white collar crime’?

Reflections on Michael, Martha, and Milberg Weiss - J. Kelly Strader
ABSTRACT: We are deeply conflicted about white collar crime and punishment. Prosecutions undermine the integrity and expressive function of our system of white-collar crime and criminalization.

White-Collar Crime and the Study of Embezzlement - GARY S. GREEN
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 525, No. 1, 95-106 (1993).
The term "white-collar crime" has come to mean many things since Edwin Sutherland coined it more than fifty years ago. Many scholars referred to embezzlement as a white-collar crime. This theft-after-trust offense is probably not a white-collar one in the original sense of the term. This article addresses the problems of data interpretation and behavioral explanation in the study of trust violation in light of scholars' focus on it as a white-collar crime offense.

Intellectual property and white-collar crime: Report of issues, trends, and problems for future research
Kane, John, Beresford, Annette D., Desilets, Christian, Haantz, Sandra, Wall, April
Article Abstract: A research examines the association between intellectual property rights and white-collar crime, and identifies future research that might benefit policymaker, federal, state, and local agencies.

Studying and Teaching White-Collar Crime: Populist and Patrician Perspectives
Authors: Shover, Neal; Cullen, Francis
Source: Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Volume 19, Number 2, July 2008
Abstract: White-collar crime is both an integral part of undergraduate criminology courses and textbooks and the subject of enduring analytic controversy. Much of the latter can be traced to two paradigms employed by investigators and teachers when they examine white-collar crime: Populist and Patrician. How much attention is paid to the victims and costs of white-collar crime, the analytic centrality of criminalization, and the variables and dynamics that purportedly explain variation in offending. Pedagogical use of conflicting paradigm hold the potential to enhance students' ability to think critically about white-collar crime.

Some Personality Correlates of Business White-Collar Crime.
Applied Psychology. 55(2):220-233, April 2006.
Blickle, Gerhard; Schlegel, Alexander; Fassbender, Pantaleon; Klein, Uwe
In this paper the results of the first cross-sectional study in Europe examining personality correlates of white-collar crime in business are presented. This study is an extension of Collins and Schmidt's 1993 research on white-collar crime in the United States. Business white-collar crime is predicted by gender, low behavioral self-control, high hedonism, high narcissism, and high conscientiousness. It is argued here that high-ranking white-collar crime criminals in business combine low integrity with high conscientiousness.

The Neglected Victims and Unexamined Costs of White-Collar Crime
Elizabeth Moore, Michael Mills - Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 36, No. 3, 408-418 (1990)
Although no one disputes that aggregate fiscal costs of white-collar crime dwarf comparable losses from street crime, victimization researchers and the victims' movement have ignored entirely the victims of white-collar crime. This can be attributed to conservative domination of the victims' agenda and the ambiguous moral character of white-collar victims. This article distinguishes primary and secondary costs of white-collar crime.

Globalization and the Federal Prosecution of White Collar Crime
Ellen S. Podgor - Stetson University College of Law - American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 2 (1997).
Abstract: This essay focuses on the international flavor developing in the prosecution of white collar crime. The essay next addresses judicial interpretation of white collar statutes where there has been no explicit reference to extraterritoriality in the statute. The essay offers jurisdiction questions that have arisen as a result of white collar crime criminal activity exceeding the borders of the United States.

Knocking The Starch Out Of White Collar Crime
Overview: White-collar crime tugs at the bottom line of every company, from mid-sized restaurants and lumberyards to Fortune 100 firms.

ABSTRACT: Advocates of the concept of white-collar crime have failed to make the case for its scientific value. Steffensmeier's efforts efforts support our contention that the correlates of white-collar crime are the same as the correlates of crime, that the age distribution of offending is the same for white-collar crimes as for other crimes, that official statistics have sufficient validity for many etiological purposes.

On the Relationship between White-Collar Crime and Political Sociology: A Suggestion and Resource for Teaching.
Gerber, Jurg; Fritsch, Eric J. - Teaching Sociology, v21 n2 p130-39 Apr 1993
Abstract: Describes a college-level student research project on white-collar crime and its relationship to political sociology.


Trafficking in Human Organs: An Emerging Form of White-Collar Crime? 
Thomas W. Foster, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University at Mansfield
The article inquires into the typical circumstances that surround the sale-for profit-of organs.