Social Theories of white collar crime

Topics: Theft, Criminology, Identity theft Pages: 2 (419 words) Published: November 2, 2014
Social Theories and White Collar Crime

Social Theories and White Collar Crime

Edward Sutherland believed that without including white-collar criminal offense as its own category it would contribute to errors in how we depicted the crime, understood the cause of offense, and evaluated crime in the justice system. (Simpson & Weisbud, 2009) Sutherland’s idea did not hold up well with scholars, due to missing information of the criminal, so his idea never took hold. Still, Robert Agnew in the 1990s breathed new life into the general strain theory (GST). It is merely explained as sometimes it’s the sole direction for one to attain riches and what society’s idea of wealth is. If one does not have wealth it puts a strain on the person to gain wealth and commit crime to achieve this. If we look at corporate identity fraud, we can apply how the GST relates to the category of masculinity which can lead to white-collar crime.

Masculinity is a category of crime within the strain theory that factors in the desire to gain status as a powerful, masculine person. Many people see wealth as a means for a person to be looked as strong or masculine. Identity thieves can take delight in the fact that they are outsmarting other people. The person who may be a data entry clerk, may feel powerful that they can steal cooperate personal information of those who are in high paid positions. By stealing identities the person can elevate his position by living off other people’s hard work. The fact that many people who perpetrate identity theft do so for petty reasons could lend credence to a tie between the GST, masculinity category and identity fraud.

By looking at the GST we can understand how one could fall into the crime of corporate identity theft. The strain theory shows delinquency is an adaptive and problem-solving behavior caused by frustrating and unwanted social environments. Due to a person being in a poor lifestyle, just wanting the middle...

References: Simpson, S. S., & Weisbud, D. (Eds.). (2009). Introduction. The Criminology of White-Collar Crime (pp. 1-3). [Adobe Digital Edition XI].
Schmalleger, F., & Volk, R. (2008). Canadian Criminology Today (3rd ed.). Toronto, Canada: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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