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NCJ Number: 99738 Find in a Library
Title: Small Business - White-Collar Villains or Victims?
Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Law  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1985)  Pages:247-259
Author(s): A Sutton; R Wild
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Using Australian statistics and case studies, this paper argues that small business is a more significant crime problem than commonly believed, and such offending is more complex than theorists have indicated.
Abstract: Although the literature focuses on large corporations as principal white-collar offenders, the most recent Australian figures show that small and medium-sized businesses are the most frequent violators of environmental, consumer, taxation, and business legislation. Some theorists explain such crime as the inevitable consequence of small businesses attempting to survive in markets dominated by large-scale corporations. Others argue that small-business crime is perpetrated by criminally inclined 'confidence' people who seek opportunities to ply their deviant schemes. Case studies of small-business crime in Australia, however, indicate that such crime stems from the characteristics of small business entrepreneurs and the role played by small business in large-scale capitalism. First, a small-businessperson's economic opportunities are structurally restricted, largely by massive national and transnational corporations. Second, despite this reality, such persons are committed to a socioeconomic lifestyle they will go to any lengths to preserve. Third, and most importantly, small business fulfills important 'intermediary' functions for large-scale capital, which provides the opportunity for profitable violations of the law. Tabular data and 32 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime patterns; Trade practices; White collar crime
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