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NCJ Number: 78542 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Dramaturgical Scene Manipulation and Its Importance for the False Pretender
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1981)  Pages:81-98
Author(s): R C Holland
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Australian paper analyzes a case example of land fraud as a form of white-collar crime through a narrative approach reconstructing the crime and testing the dramaturgical perspective as a tool to explain social behaviors.
Abstract: The study is intended to stimulate awareness and increase understanding of an example of the white-collar fraud act as a designed process and to establish the validity of this narrative approach. The dramaturgical approach is found most frequently in encounters involving agent/customer and agent/client relationships in which the individual in a service occupation relies on his abilities as a performer to manipulate the situation in his favor. Such dramaturgical manipulation has been studied with those engaged in deviant occupations such as poolroom hustlers and shoplifters. The purpose of scene manipulation is to control the conduct of others, especially their responsive treatment of the 'actor.' In analyzing the activities of a false pretender, the research must contend with the fact that the fraud is usually apparent only after the performance has ended and the event must be reconstructed in hindsight by assembling evidence from sources such as the recollections of the victim together with various documents available that attest to the event. The dramaturgical events recounted in this case study reveal the fraudulent stages of a scheme whereby a citizen was deceived into purchasing several worthless allotments of swamp land. The relevance of the sales transaction is emphasized, with the interaction described as a series of events in which each phase arose logically out of and was influenced by the preceding one. The narrative method permits an illumination of fraud that shows the importance of selecting the right mark. It highlights the great amount of power the false pretender can assert over the naive and unwary as a result of dramaturgical scene manipulation and demonstrates the attributes of this method for sociological research. Footnotes and 25 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Australia; Case studies; Confidence game; False impersonation; Land sale fraud; White collar crime
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