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Lecture 3

SOC 2106 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Cybersex, Marxist Feminism, Cosplay


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2106
Professor
Sam Alvaro
Lecture
3

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WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
-White collar crime
Edwin Sutherland
Focused on corporate crime
White-collar criminals are mainly hidden from criminologists, cause high financial cost (as well as
emotional/social cost), damage social institutions and social relations
-What is white collar crime?
Committed by individuals who use the marketplace for their criminal activity
“White-collar crime may be defined approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability
and high social status in the course of his occupation. Consequently, it excludes many crimes of the
upper-class, such as most of their cases of murder, adultery, and intoxication, since these are not
customarily a part of their occupational procedures”
-Corporate deviance
Typically takes place in corporations, carried out by executives for their companies benefits and their own
Deviance against employees (negligence of health/safety): profit maximization, corporate structure,
governments reluctance to take action against offending corporations
Deviance against customers: dangerous foods, unsafe products, frauds, deceptive advertising, antitrust
violations
Deviance against government: tax evasion
Deviance against the environment: dump their wastes onto land, into air and water because it is too costly
to develop ecologically safer alternatives or antipollution devices
EXAMPLES OF CORPORATE CROOKS PAGE 371
-Deviance in the professions
Medical misconduct: fee splitting/kickbacks for referring patients. Unnecessary surgery for desire of
maximum profit rather than honest misdiagnosis. Fraudulently claiming payment for services when
billing insurance companies/government for services never rendered/incorrect services
Lawyerly lawlessness: overcharging clients
Accounting abuse: most of the abuse involves fraud or negligence in the course of doing audits
-Governmental deviance
Political corruption: receiving kickbacks from businesses, abusive management of public funds, abusing
the Frank.
Election improprieties: denial of voting right, political dirty tricks, campaign finance abuses
Official violence: police brutality, democide
-Middle class deviance
Tax evasion
Credit card fraud
Bankruptcy fraud
-Pros/elite deviance
Medical fraud
Investment fraud
-Business fraud
Embezzlement: form of employee theft, often used to refer to the stealing of money
-Occupational crime
Employee theft: employee theft has much to do with large and impersonal corporations. Society with a
tradition of union-management conflict such as USA have high employee theft. Workers may steal if they
find their jobs boring.
-Corporate crime
False advertisement
-State corporate crimes
Kickbacks
-How serious is white-collar crime?
Much higher cost than street crime

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1997: 57% companies claimed being cheated on by their own employees
US: over 20 million serious injuries, 30 000 deaths/year
Receive light penalties
International problem
-Types of White-Collar Crime (Moore)
1) Stings and swindles:
Financial
Religious
2) Chiselling:
Occupational chiselling
Professional chiselling
Security fraud
Insider trading
3) Individual exploitation of position:
Government – bribes, kickbacks
Industry – kickback, soliciting bribes
4) Influence peddling and bribery:
Government
Criminal justice system
Business
5) Embezzlement and employee fraud:
Blue-collar fraud
Management fraud
6) Client frauds
Insurance fraud
Credit card fraud
Medical insurance fraud
7) Corporate crime
Price – fixing, illegal restraint of trade
False advertising
Environmental crime
-High tech crimes
Internet crimes: pornography, stalking, hate crimes, get rich quick scams
Computer crimes: theft of services, use of data, fraud to obtain assets, theft (of software, downloading
music), viruses (56 000 in 2000).
LAW ENFORCEMENT
-Law enforcement
Largely dependent on government administrators/inspectors: government cutbacks, complaint-based
rather than proactive
RCMP: focuses more on organized crime (bikers), drug trafficking
-Corporate policing
Security measures: contract security personnel, closed circuit TV
Screening and education: background check, personality testing, seminars
Whistle blowing: anonymous hotlines
-Control strategy
Compliance
Economic incentives to obey the law (administrative agencies, legislation and fines, awarding
government contracts based on compliance)
Problems (Ineffective with deregulation, pro-business government, penalties are seen as a
business cost, companies move to unregulated areas)
Deterrence
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Detect crimes, convict and punish offenders as a warning to others
US research indicates that public and judicial tolerance of white collar crime may be decreasing,
long sentences are rare, white-collar offenders make up small % of all convictions
UNDERPRIVILEGED DEVIANCE
-Robbery
Property crime (illegally taking the victims property) and violent crime (use of violence or threat of
violence)
Robbery as property crime
1) Deciding to rob for money/financial gain (pursuit of power is a secondary motive)
2) Deciding which target to rob (usually consider lucrative establishments, targets with lower risk of
arrest)
3) Deciding how to rob (more are carefully planned than not proved by low rate of evidence)
Robbery as violent crime
Unarmed robbery and actual violence: seen as less dangerous but more likely to result in injury.
More dangerous because offenders believe the victims are more likely to resist when there is no
weapon
Armed robbery and potential violence: rarely turns into real violence. Weapon is a buffer zone,
intimidates the victim, makes a good threat, ensures escape
-Patterns of robbery
Big-city crime
More urbanized a region, higher its rate of robbery
Robbery involves mostly strangers
More common in cold winter months, peaks during the holiday season in December: more money, less
individuals outside/witnesses, lack of daylight, unemployment from seasonal jobs, economic pressure for
living costs
Most robberies take place outdoors, bank robbery is rare.
Most robberies are armed (mostly adults). Unarmed – purse snatching (youngsters)
Unarmed robberies happen closer to home due to spontaneity and foot travel opportunity. Armed robbery
has more planning involved so distance is further
Robbery more likely to be interracial – blacks robbing whites because it is more impersonal/premeditated
-Amateur and professional robbers
Amateurs: opportunist robbers, addict robbers, alcoholic robbers
Opportunist: most common. Larceny, shoplifting
Addict: commit robbery to buy their next fix
Alcoholic: least likely to engage in robbery, most likely to be caught when they rob. Take a fight
victims money as an afterthought
Professionals: carefully plan, execute them with one/multiple accomplices, with skill. Strong commitment
to robbery as a way of income. Typically rob large establishments for large sums of money. Tend to see
their crime as an honest enterprise
-Causes of robbery
Relative deprivation
Economic abundance
-Auto theft and carjacking
Characteristics and trends: high jacking, violence against driving, not often juveniles, bump and run
Causes: abundant opportunity, inadequate law enforcement, profitability, insurance fraud. Increase in
carjacking due to increased sophistication of the car’s security devices
-Burglary
Modus operandi: rational and calculating. Committed during the day. 9-11AM and 1-3PM.
Causes: deviant motivation and opportunity (meet expressive needs, absence of capable guardians
-Shoplifting
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