The Problem Of White Collar Crime

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White collar crime is a problem that we do not really see the full extent of; Geis and Stotland (1980) present the argument that the seriousness of victimisation caused by many corporations is much greater than that caused by common crimes however the public seem much less interested and concerned with white collar crime. Some traditional criminological theories have attempted to prove that white collar crime is not a different and separate phenomenon to common, every day crime. Robert Merton’s Strain Theory is applied to everyday crime, however his theory was in fact set up as an economic theory that he believed could explain all types of corporate crimes as well as traditional crimes. Gottfredson and Hirschi also provided what they understood to be a ‘General Theory of Crime’ with Control Theory, which they also believed to be relevant to both white collar and traditional crimes. I am going to discuss these theories in detail and show how they do, and do not provide sufficient explanations of white collar crimes. I am also going to include Organizational Theory in my discussion which looks at the issue of understanding crime in a different way. Traditional theories such as strain theory and control theory form a certain understanding of the issue, on the contrary some argue that these theories are not appropriate and need twisting to fit the issue, some suggesting a completely separate way of thinking is needed to understand white collar and corporate crime. White collar
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