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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153937 Find in a Library
Title: Constructing White-Collar Crime: Rationalities, Communication, Power
Author(s): J J Savelsberg
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 193
Sponsoring Agency: University of Pennsylvania Press
Baltimore, MD 21211
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8122-3240-2
Sale Source: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publicity Manager
P.O. Box 4836
Baltimore, MD 21211
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book reports on an interdisciplinary case study of the construction of new German laws against white-collar crime and relates the results to internationally comparative findings.
Abstract: The analysis is empirical; it is theoretically grounded in a sociological approach that contrasts Marxist versus pluralist or differentiation theory, and functionalist versus conflict group or action theory. The authors also analyze their findings in relation to Max Weber's theory of the rationalization of law. In addition, the research introduces the technique of cognitive mapping into the study of criminal justice legislation. The book attempts to bridge the gap between microsociological and macrosociological approaches to the construction of criminal law. The authors analyze action rationales, communication patterns, and power structures as they are manifested in various stages of the law-making process. These stages include claims-making in news media, participation of scholars and practitioners in an expert commission and in parliamentary hearings, the involvement of industrial lobbying groups during the drafting of the bill in the Department of Justice, and parliamentary deliberations. The analysis shows the considerable weight of economic and political rationales as opposed to justice criteria in the development of criminal legislation. It also indicates that white-collar crime legislation may have counterproductive consequences. The laws are intended to increase the quality of criminal justice by criminalizing the behavior of the powerful, but the less powerful groups within the white-collar classes are more likely to feel the effects. 184 references and a subject index
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Foreign laws; Germany; Jurisprudence; Marxism; Social conditions; White collar crime
Note: Law in Social Context Series
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