Sociological Explanations For White Collar & Corporate Crime

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  • Sociological Explanations For White Collar & Corporate Crime
    • Strain and Relative Deprivation (Merton)
      • It is hard to see successful middle class people as having means of achieving social goals blocked, as Merton's strain theory might suggest as many are already successful, nonetheless they may still feel a sense of relative deprivation and want more than they can achieve legitimately
    • Control Theory
      • Control theory suggests that the individuals who carry out corporate crime to benefit companies are driven by socialisation and conformity to management cultures which encourage ruthless business practices, which might involve taking illegal short cuts
    • Differential Association (Sutherland)
      • Sutherland's theory suggests that if people associate with others who commonly support illegal activities, then they are more likely to commit crime themselves
    • Marxist Explanations (Box, Tombs)
      • Marxists like Box and Tombs argue that the push to corporate crime is driven by criminogenic capitalism and the need to maintain profits in an increasingly global market means that if this cannot be achieved legitimately then illegal means will be used
    • Labelling Theory (Nelken)
      • Nelken argues that white collar and corporate crimes are more likely to escape labelling as 'criminal' because they are often similar to normal business practices
    • Postmodernism (Katz)
      • Postmodern sociologists like Katz suggest that crime can be a seductive, pleasurable experience and thrill seeking and risk taking may be motivations for crime rather than simply material gain
    • Evaluation of These Theories
      • Weaknesses
        • These explanations fail to give reasons why not all individuals or corporations turn to crime
        • Nelken suggests the best way to rob a bank would be to own one, but most in this position would not take advantage of this
        • Marxists see corporate crime as an inevitable part of the search for profit in criminogenic capitalist societies but this fails to explain why in communist countries there is still corporate crime and corruption
      • Strengths
        • The study of white collar and corporate crime is important as it contributes to an understanding of the social construction of crime stats and the relative over representation of WC crime
  • *Theory*
    • *How it causes corporate crime


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