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NCJ Number: 140371 Find in a Library
Title: Poverty, Power, and White-Collar Crime: Sutherland and the Paradoxes of Criminological Theory (From White-Collar Crime Reconsidered, P 78-107, 1992, Kip Schlegel and David Weisburd, eds - See NCJ-140367)
Author(s): J Braithwaite
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Northeastern University Press
Boston, MA 02115
Sale Source: Northeastern University Press
Managing Manager
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the causes of white-collar crime rejects Sutherland's view that poverty and inequality are irrelevant to a general theory of crime and argues instead that such a theory can be developed by focusing on inequality as an explanatory variable.
Abstract: Thus, powerlessness and poverty increase the chances that needs are so little satisfied that crime is an irresistible temptation to individuals alienated from the social order. When needs are satisfied, further power and wealth enable crime motivated by greed. New types of criminal opportunities and new ways to avoid accountability result from concentrations of wealth and power. Therefore, inequality worsens both crimes of poverty motivated by need for goods for use and crimes of wealth motivated by greed enabled by goods for exchange. In addition, much crime, particularly violent crime, is motivated by the humiliation of the offender and the offender's perceived right to humiliate the victim. Inegalitarian societies are more structurally humiliating than egalitarian societies; types of inequality that may help explain both white-collar crime and common crime include economic inequality, inequality in political power, racism, ageism, and patriarchy. Although none of these factors completely explains crime, they may be both theoretically interesting and politically important parts of the explanation. Notes and 65 references
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory; White collar crime causes
Index Term(s): Definitions; White collar crime; White collar crime causes; White collar offenders
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