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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Social Control Agents and Deviance.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Candace Kruttschnitt

White-collar organizational offenders - A lot of white-collar criminals saying I’m just involved in a big business. How do people go about explaining all these kinds of individual white-collar crimes/corporate crimes? - Greed and needs is one explanation. This could fit into Merton's strain theory. Greed internalizes goal for money. You can always find people who earn more, therefore, contributing to feeling aspiration for upward. Need comes from a notion of the disjuncture between what we are taught to achieve and what we can actually achieve. But as Sutherland pointed out, we all want more money but only some involved in illegal activities others do not. What is the reason? - Corporate culture: some organizations promote crimes in the same ways some neighborhood promote delinquency and gang activities. How do they do it? Placing excessive demands on employees or tolerating deviant activities. The Archer Daniel: How do they facilitate corporate crimes? What are the indicators of how they did it? - Couple of different levels facilitating illegal activities: They know price-fixing was illegal. What they said was that it appears to be standard operating procedures. It appears to be what people do; why shouldn’t I do it? - The divisional structure of company: Competition between the divisions in the company promotes illegality. The divisional structure serves to protect people on the top. - The CEO was also a chairman of the board of director. The board of director is designed to be an oversight to the organization, to check their financial activities and to make sure the company is operating according to rules. The CEO should not have been the chairman of the board. - A really good example of corporate culture facilitating illegal behavior. Recall from last semester: Self-control - Crime and criminality: crime was an opportunity to offend and criminality was propensity. Individuals, who have low self-control, are going to commit crimes. Maybe, the white-collar crimes can be explained by low self-control. This seems to be odd but there is some evidence that the white-collar offenders individuals with prior records. They share a lot in common with street criminals. Reading by Shover: Telemarketers - A notion of self-concept; do these people think of themselves as common criminals/offenders? - They don't. They think of themselves quite differently because their criminal activities take places in context of legitimate occupations. They regard themselves as respectable citizens. Telemarketers, despite the fact that the offenders were felons, reject the label of criminals. They think of themselves accused of expanding their business so rapidly. They insulate themselves in their self-concept. Researchers in the pharmaceutical industry have deliberately falsified the findings on side effects of drugs. They still see themselves; none is criminal but professional helping to save people's lives. There are some people who argue that what we really need is a blended theory Basically, white-collar crimes have three factors: 1) Motivation; conditioned by competition in business, politics, etc.. people are put into these contexts where motivation starts to emerge 2) Culturally learned neutralization; i.e, for the good of the company.. everyone does it... 3) Opportunity In many ways it resembles with Sutherland’s theory, - Corporate ethics vary considerable among companies and learning of rationalizations, norms, attitudes, and different contexts may determine why violations are acceptable in some companies but not in others. How do we go about controlling corporate crimes? - Generally what’s done to try to curve these kinds of crimes fall into two categories? 1) Compliance: a kind of notion that there will be self-policing in business community. "We know you do the best" /Oversight by various regulatory agencies. A strategy that tries to create incentives for doing the right things; "you don't wanna get penalized". But, they are usually following the actions; they are coming in after someone broke the rule. 2) Deterrence: effective way of dealing these offenses. It works best when you have rational actors. Analysis of the costs and benefits on certain activity. Some evidence suggests that attempts are made to give severe penalty to wealthy individuals who are caught for fraud. There are also exceptions: the reality is that not many of these wealthy people are accused. Only about 6 percent of all arrests were white-collar crimes. Of these 6 percent, the vast majority of these people were prosecuted and convicted in criminal court. But very few end up going to prison. - Maybe, the best deterrence really isn't the criminal sanctions which rarely resulting someone end up in prison. Maybe, it is the bad publicity for the company since most corporations are very concerned with public images. Publicity might be a very good deterrence. - The impact of negative publicity in corporate crimes: bad publicity affected all seventeen corporations but the degrees to which they change their behavior vary. Publicity hurts most when it challenges the integrity of the products because it extracts the financial costs of the corporation. Bad publicity hurts the products. i.e. i'm not buying t-shirts from sweat shops. Part 2: Social Control Agent and Deviance How do we understand deviance among social control agents? the ways in which social control contributes to deviance more generally Gary Marx - A notion that social control creates more deviant behaviors. Social control creates the problem that it designs to eliminate. - Marx examine three situations where social control contributes to rule breaking 1) Escalation: a notion that the process of the control triggers violation either. i.e. high- speed car chase 2) Nonenforcement: i.e. exchange relationship 3) Covert Facilitation: setting up situations to try get individuals engaging in illegal activities - Escalation on two levels: 1) Escalation in initial enforcements: a large number of quasi-legal enforcement system that has emerged over the past several decades i.e. how many compan
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