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Is "greed" the explanation for both professional and corporate crime? If not, what else do we have to consider? Can we apply traditional criminological theories to our understanding of white-collar crime?

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Introduction

Criminology Crime In Context Is 'Greed' the explanation for both professional and corporate crime? If not, what else do we have to consider? Can we apply traditional criminological theories to our understanding of white-collar crime? 1st March 2006 Samantha Harsant Is "greed" the explanation for both professional and corporate crime? If not, what else do we have to consider? Can we apply traditional criminological theories to our understanding of white-collar crime? In 1939 Edwin Sutherland first brought white-collar crime to the forefront of the criminological study. He first coined the term white-collar crime for crimes specifically performed by those in high positions in both society and in business. These were those classed as white-collar employees and included crimes such as fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime and forgery. Sutherland's definition of crime states that the white-collar crime is committed by a person of high status and is committed in their place of work. Sutherland conducted a great deal of research into white-collar crime, including "white-collar criminality (1940)" and "white-collar crime (1949), all of which is still highly regarded today and seen by some as controversial. ...read more.

Middle

Sutherland explained that this is when deviants and criminals learn the techniques and attitudes needed to commit the crime through interpersonal interaction with others, he fashioned the differential association theory as he was dissatisfied with the conventional explanations of crime around at the time. The theory also states that people commit white-collar crime when they are exposed to more values favourable to the commission of crime than those which favour conformity to the law, therefore influencing individuals to commit the crimes. In 2002, Maguire, Morgan and Reiner posed the question is white-collar crime influenced by the high pressures of business life and the expectations to succeed. In my opinion, the answer to this question is a definite yes because working in a business in such a ruthless environment as the corporate world puts a great deal of pressure upon an individual to be a success and whether they succeed and their reputation are vital in order to "survive" in such a world. This pressure does on occasions become too much for some individuals and a minority turn to forms of white-collar crime to help relieve some of this pressure. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is very difficult and somewhat controversial to apply traditional criminological theories to the white collar crimes of today as not only in my opinion is white collar crime set apart from all other forms of criminality but also because the data we base our judgements on is unreliable to some degree. Many offences similar to and including professional and corporate crimes are not included in the official statistics of crime as such offences often go undetected or are dealt with by specialist agencies are within the company. Due to the lack of complete and reliable data it is almost impossible to gain a true picture of white collar crime and the world in which it occurs, as well as the reasons for which people choose to commit professional and corporate crimes. As a consequence it is also difficult to utilize any such criminological theories when attempting to understand and explain white collar crime. Unfortunately criminologists can therefore only attempt to explain white collar crime using vague and rather unreliable sources whilst trying to adapt past criminological theories to the criminality in the white collar world. ...read more.

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