Social class and crime

Summary of social class and crime. Includes white/blue collar crime, corporate crime, state crime and occupational crime. Studies include:

  • Nelken
  • Sutherland
  • Tombs
  • Braithwaite
  • Hughes and Langan
  • Punch
  • Mars
  • Box

Would love some feedback if anything is incorrect - I'm going to be revising from this too :)

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Social class and crime

Most studies in sociology suggest that the most serious and frequent offenders are young
working class males. However, there may be a bias in the statistics that results in the idea
that `white collar crime' is underestimated...

WHITE COLLAR CRIME - middle class members of the…

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Functionalists suggest that the difference between professionals (e.g. doctors) and most
other workers is how much trust can be placed in them (e.g. from patients).
According to Nelken (2002), there is a considerable amount of evidence pointing to
fraudulent claims from doctors/dentists against insurance companies in the USA.
Left realists…

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Financial frauds:
These include false accounting, insurance frauds and the making of false claims by sellers
about the benefits of pension schemes and saving plans. Fraud can involve vast sums of
money and the consequences can be extremely serious.

Views of white collar crime:
Compared to more visible/obvious types of…

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social classes to succeed). When people in white collar occupations find the routes
to pay rises and promotions blocked, they sometimes innovate - just like members
of the working class. In other words, they turn to illegal means to become successful
and attain monetary goals. They experience the same strain…

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have an `elaborate and widely accepted ideological rationalisation for their offences'. In fact,
criminal practices were quite normal.

Emotion based approaches:
More recently, the interest in emotions and the meaning of masculinity has spilled over into
explaining occupational and organised crime. According to Portnoy (2003), the reason so
powerful, rich…

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dominance of society to avoid having the majority of their activities defined as illegal, they
still break the law if needed.
Box (1983) points out the success the powerful have had in promoting the idea that
corporate crime is less serious and less harmful than street crimes. Box describes this…


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