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NCJ Number: 78555 Find in a Library
Title: Corporate Crime - A Critique of the Clinard Report
Journal: Contemporary Crises  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1981)  Pages:323-336
Author(s): T R Young
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: The Clinard report on illegal corporate behavior is critiqued.
Abstract: The Clinard report, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, is a 2-year study (1975-76) of the criminal activity of 582 of the largest U.S. corporations. The data are based on all the criminal proceedings initiated against these companies by 24 Federal agencies. The oil, auto, and drug industries were found to be the most criminal; sanctions were relatively minor. Overall, the study shows crime to be endemic in business life. While the Clinard Report has much data of value and is a pioneering venture which is long overdue, there are some conceptual, methodological, and interpretative features of the study which impair its utility as an instrument for aiding the control this significant aspect of criminal behavior. The study has flaws in its omission of concepts which would help in understanding the incidence and logic of criminal behavior in a capitalist society. The concepts of capitalism, class, class struggle, community, surplus value, alienation, separation of production and distribution, profit rate, competition, and accumulation are omitted from the analysis. There is no effort to correlate corporate crime with these variables. Suggestions for dealing with corporate crime are unrealistic, because they do not deal with the characteristics of capitalist corporate dynamics that inevitably place the corporation in conflict with overall social, consumer, and environmental concerns. Approaches to dealing with the endemic nature of corporate crime must be based on a critique of the socioeconomic structures which encourage or discourage criminal behavior. Any such comparison of societies would show the advantages of the socialist structure over the capitalist structure in reducing socioeconomically harmful criminal behavior. Twenty-five notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Corporate criminal liability; Crime causes theory; Critiques; Socialism; White collar crime
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