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Essay on How to be a White Collar Criminal

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For a crime to take place there is two key elements that must be present. Logically first, there needs to be the criminal opportunity, there could be no bank robbery if there was no bank. This is especially noteworthy for white collar crime as it necessarily required an occupation in which the crime is to be committed, also it differs from street crime in this regard because the offender has ‘legitimate access’. “By definition one must be in the white-collar world to be a white-collar offender” (Hirshi and Gottfredson 1987:967). The second component to crime is motivation to utilize the opportunity: if one just won the lottery, there would be no motivation to rob the bank - at least no financial motive (Benson and Simpson 2009:79). Because white collar crime is committed within the course of legitimate business, the offender differs greatly from those who engage in street crime. White collar criminals are overwhelmingly white males who are employed and contrary to popular belief they are not always from the upper class, however there socioeconomic standing is greater than those whom are involved in street crime (Braithwaite 1985:4). Because of the opportunity structure of white collar crime this general profile is not surprising, but it is important to remember that not everyone who fits this profile, or who has the appropriate coincidence of opportunity and motivation will go on to commit a white collar offence. There seems to be an essential element missing from the equation, and this paper will argue that what is missing from other theories is the cognitive psychological side of offending. This paper will use a motivational framework to looks at what leads an individual to commit a white collar offence, namely the symbolic c...


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...0, 2014, from (http://jstor.org).

Harel, J. (2014, January). What is White Collar Crime? Crime and Deviance in the Workplace. Lecture conducted from Western University, London, ON.

Harel, J. (2014, January). The White Collar Criminal. Crime and Deviance in the Workplace. Lecture conducted from Western University, London, ON.

Heath, J. (2008). Business Ethics and Moral Motivation: A Criminological Perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(4), 595-614. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from (http://link.springer.com/).

Hirschi, T., & Gottfredson, M. (1987). Causes of White-Collar Crime*. Criminology, 25(4), 949-974. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com).

Sykes, G. M., & Matza, D. (1957). Techniques of Neutralization: A Theory of Delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22(6), 664-670. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from (http://www.jstor.org/).



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