The Concept of White Collar Crime

928 Words4 Pages
Can "white collar" crime be explained by the same theories that address crimes such a domestic theft and burglary? "The concept of white-collar crime was certainly not invented in order to provide comfort for standard approaches to causation in criminology," (Nelken, 2007, p. 744). White-collar crime is certainly a complex issue to study from a theoretical perspective, not least because of the inherent diversity among the types of white collar crimes, among the types of white collar criminals, and among the types of victims. Certainly, the same theories that address crimes such as domestic theft and burglary can have some bearing on understanding white-collar crime. Both white-collar and other types of theft-like activities involve the deliberate breaking of laws, social codes, and norms. There may be at play similar variables such as psychopathology. Prevailing theories of crimes like burglary and domestic theft can also be applied equally as well to white-collar crime. For example, strain theory and control theory can both be relevant to the study of white-collar crime. As Nelken (2007) points out, anomie can describe crimes such as domestic theft and burglary; or anomie can describe white-collar crime. Both types of crime point to a breakdown in ethical frameworks that might make it more or less likely for an individual to commit a crime. Strain theory suggests that white-collar crime is sometimes presented as a "creative" or "innovative" solution to the pressures of
Open Document