• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically discuss the practical and ethical difficulties involved when researching White Collar Crime. Give examples of research studies in this field in order to substantiate your arguments.

Extracts from this document...


SOCIAL POLICY BA White Collar Crime Student Number- 328853. Critically discuss the practical and ethical difficulties involved when researching White Collar Crime. Give examples of research studies in this field in order to substantiate your arguments. INTRODUCTION The increase in capitalism, multi national corporations, advanced information technology communications and globalisation has caused the increase of a type of crime which has previously not been recognised, 'white collar crime'. This is also referred to within text as corporate crime, invisible crime, white collar deviance etc. The beginning of the paper will begin by looking at what white collar crime in both definitive and historical context and later go on to look at the many practical and ethical difficulties that are involved when researching White Collar Crime. WHAT IS WHITE COLLAR CRIME White Collar crime has the potential to affect everybody. It is not categorised in the same criminological groups as activities such as street crime and sexual violence; although it can be just as if not more destructive, but its activities are still subject of criminal law. White collar crime is very limited in research due to under recognition of the subject. White collar crime is very much a specialist area which is argued to cause marginalisation of the subject area in relation to other criminological studies. This can be seen in the way in which White collar crime has been put on the back burner throughout political and social debate i.e. in the news, newspapers, political manifesto's etc. Croall (1997) states that criminological discussions are very much centred on issues that are perceived as being more closely linked directly to everyday citizen life i.e. theft, rape, burglary etc. White collar crime is therefore much less likely to be in the forefront of prioritised criminological political debate. HISTORY According to Croall (1997) it is only recently that the term white collar crime has been seriously acknowledged. ...read more.


In the long run if there was proof that white collar crime was as big a problem as many criminologists would argue, then the government may invest more money in to cracking down on white collar crime and the business's would be more at risk of getting caught. The American National White Collar Crime Centre (N.W.C.C.C) carried out a house hold survey in 1999 and found that 36% of households claimed to be victims of some form of white collar crime in the previous year. The results of this are significantly high showing clear cause for concern especially as already stated many victims don't know when they have been victimised indicating that the statistic should be much higher. It raises the question as to why street crime is feared so much more in comparison. Generally it would seem that the services that deal with white collar crime and its specifics are also very hard to access information through and often lack very little specific detail surrounding judicial processes and outcomes. Croall (1997) claims that as a result of the further recognition of white collar crime certain victim groups have been set up. Victim based research does provide important information to the researcher but can often be considered as bias and only gives one side of the story. It gives limited information surrounding the specific's of the white collar crime committed. Croall (1997) states, an example of this can be found in the use of official statistics in research. Due to the complexity and invisibility of white collar crime there are alternative agencies to the police that deal with this particular area, Official crime statistics are there for not inclusive of white collar crime offences. Official crime statistics according to Davies et al (1999) are a highly valued secondary research source for criminological research. It is very important for white collar crime to become more predominant in official statistics because the categories of people and crime used in the stats represents what is prioritised as problem areas and therefore affects policy making and theoretical approaches to problem solving. ...read more.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies have been investigated. It would seem that although secondary research based strategies are never the most effective methodology when looking at validity and reliability, ethical and practical research problems surrounding white collar crime often lead criminologists to study secondary research. Although there would seem to be an immense amount of difficulty when looking at the ethical and practical problems of researching white collar crime, it could be argued that in today's advanced society, the increasing intellect and understanding in the potential of advanced technologies and communications would be enough to enable a sufficient and more progressive stand against white collar crime then the present situation. The lack of effective research can therefore be blamed on the general lack of subject interest or understanding. One must hold knowledge and have access to resources to enable the preliminary ball to start rolling. Public awareness, ignorance and funding, all need to be approached to enable a more, innovative and creative approach towards researching the corporate offender. REFERENCE LIST Croall, H. (1997) Understanding white collar crime: Crime and Justice. Buckingham, Open University Press. O'Keefe, J. (1996) Law of Weights and Measures. London, Butterworth. Sutherland, E. (1949) White collar crime. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston. Weisburd, D., & Schlegel, K. (1992) Returning to the mainstream: reflections on past and future white collar crime study in Schlegel, K+ Weisburd, D (eds) White Collar Crime reconsidered. Boston, MA: Northerastern University Press. Shapiro, S (1990) Collaring the crime, not the criminal: re-considering the concept of White Collar crime, American Sociological Review, 55:346-65. Slapper, G., & Tombs, S. (1999) Corporate Crime. London, Longman. Davies, P., Jupp, V. & Francis, P. (1999) (eds) Invisible Crimes: their victims and their regulation. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. Coleman, J.W. (2001) (eds) The Criminal Elite: Understanding White Collar Crime. New York, Worth Publishers. National White Collar Crime Centre, The National Survey on White Collar Crime (2000) Morgantown, WV: National White Collar Crime Centre. www.bhopal.com/review.htm (23/12/04) Bhopal: Incident Review Slapper, S., & Tombs, S. (1999) Corporate Crime. London: Longman. Sutherland, E. (1983) White Collar Crime: The uncut version. New Haven: Yale, University Press. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Asses the arguments and evidence which suggest women commit much less crime than men

    4 star(s)

    crime than women, although it has been argued by Tony Jefferson (1997) that masculinity on its own cannot verify this. Farrington and Morris's study (1983) found that a sex offenders sex did not have a direct influence on court sentencing decisions, though they did notice a difference in the sentencing of married women as opposed to unmarried and divorced women.

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Whereas those outside the deviant community may think that arrest is a deterrent to crime, it may encourage a person to continue along a deviant path. Punishments administered by the authorities may even become badges of honour within a deviant community.

  1. Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.

    At various times enforcement officials may decide to make an all out attack on some particular kind of deviance such as gambling, drug addiction, or homosexuality. It is obviously much more dangerous to engage in one of these activities when a drive is on than at any other time.

  2. Describe the meaning of official statistics, victim surveys and self-reported studies as ways of ...

    different sectors of society than those who are convicted and appear in the official statistics or victimisation surveys. In summary it would seem that all crime statistics it would appaer are based on data, none of which is 100 percent reliable.

  1. What have theories of deviance added to our understanding of crime? Why are there ...

    and also relying on various other methodology such as participant observation (even this can be problematic, as seen in Barry's statement to Foster later on). In today's society, many crimes go unreported sue to fear or the belief that the police will not be interested.

  2. ‘Discuss the use of alternative strategies of crime prevention and reduction.To illustrate your answer ...

    This scheme encouraged streets, towns and districts to meet to negotiate better ways to make their homes safer (Gilling, 1997:95). There was also the Conservative government's new publicity campaign of 1987 with the slogan: 'Crime, together we'll crack it' Gilling, 1997:95.

  1. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    In Mitre Square, a different area of London, at 1.45am, Catherine Eddowes body was also found. Her throat had been slashed, her abdomen had been completely disembowelled with her intestines thrown over her right shoulder, she had been depersonalised by facial mutilations and the killer as a trophy had taken her uterus and left kidney.

  2. What are the uses of both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the criminological ...

    reinforce the point they are making or even go against what they are important. Flexibility is also important as if the responder feel distressed by any of the questions the interviewer can address this problem and attempt to make sure they do not come under any ethical harm.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work