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White Collar crime part 1 & 2
White Collar crime part 1 & 2

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York University
CRIM 1650
James Williams

Corporate and white collar crime Objectives “Normalization of Deviance” Detention of terms: white-collar vs. corporate crime Barriers to definition and measurement Discrimination of corporate crime: objective harm Vs. Social construction Case studies “NORMALIZATION OF DEVIANCE” 1) “crime, law and power” - The connections between then and the sets of interests that are in criminal law 2) Ability for corporations to normalize their activities and resist or avoid the application of criminal law “Normalization of Deviance”: The process through which the evidence aspects of the behaviour or activity are minimized or downplayed with the result of this behaviour of activity is not a crime. (The laundering of corporate criminality) 3) Normalization of deviance as a reflection of corporate influence on both the formulation and enforcement of law Development of law = through political lobbying; money donates to politicians. Lobby around general topics or issues. Development of legislation. Government corporate legislation Implementation of Law = if rules are not implemented, then how are they implemented. 4) Language of corporate wrongdoing and the flexibility of law “their actions are defined as offences, violations, rather than as crimes” Rather than corporation crime being characterized as immoral, they are referred to unethical. Why is there a difference? Helps shape peoples belief. Corporations can be perused through contract law 5) De-criminalization for Corporate crime: “objective harm” Versus Perceived harm.” Not to take it all that seriously Definition of terms 1) White Collar (occupational) crime: A “criminal” act committed in course of one’s occupation for the benefit of the individual E.G. embezzling money from your company. Putting it in your bank account; Insider trading, sharing stock on information that isn’t available yet. 2) Corporate (organizational ) crime A “criminal” act committed in the course of organizational activities for the benefit of the corporation E.G. Dumping toxic waste only because it is cheaper for the company; accounting fraud (how much a company makes each year) 3) Economic crime Crime of an economic or financial nature perpetrated by individuals and/or groups independently of a specific occupational role or organizational function Focuses on crime making money and fraud, but committed more by individuals. E.G. Scams, fraud; telemarketing fraud; It may benefit the individual and the company, but it may be difficult. Barriers to definition and measurement 1) Absence and Ambiguity of Law There isn’t really any law, and even if there is a law in the book that is sanctioned, it may be ambiguous or have loop holes where they can continue doing that whey do. (they = corporate companies) E.G. chocolate is harmful because of the use of cheap and slave labour. The farmers are getting paid less than the chocolate itself for the coco beans AND McDonalds; leads to obesity, how the animals are treated, the system of food production based on factory farming. Why should chocolate or stuff like McDonalds be banned? 2) Absence of Reliable Data Street crime in Canada = going to the UCR The equivalent to the UCR in the corporation is that there is no equivalent, but you can go to case law and see how corporate practises have been under tort law and such. Limitation = you’re only looking at cases that have only been taken to court. It’s not easy to sue a corporation for misconduct; very limited. You can also go to regulation agencies or the Media. The main issues = have been cut back over the past 20-25 years; they are not regulating it... there are decreases because the regulators are not able to pursue rhea corporation. 3) Lack of research Funding Grant agencies are open to research, the university will not give you money for research, you have to do it all on your own 4) Corporate harm” vs. corporate crime? Corporate crime: Objective harm 1) Harms against consumers a) Product pricing and representing (price fixing which include oil and gas) b) Product quality and safety (harmful things) 2) Harms against the economy ( not consumers) a) Strategies of misrepresentation (representing a company as profitable and successful but it really isn’t.) b) Strategies of evasion and avoidance (tax evasion) 3) Harms against Employees a) Health and safety violations (employees hurt or killed) b) Inadequate compensation (mandating employees to work overtime, without any pay) c) Inference with the legitimate organized labour (people can organize unions, but they might not get it… companies like Wal-Mart, McDonalds) 4) Harms against the environment a) pollution (in the gulf of Mexico) b) Depletion of natural resources (de-forestation) c) Destruction of the environment (eco-systems However… 5) Minimal societal and legal response Why is it limited? Why is there disconnect? What factors help to account for that? Corporate crime: Social Construction 1) Pro-business Ideology; a cultural norm, values and attitude within capitalist societies which support the role of business in the generation of wealth. We assume that minimum regulation is necessary for corporations to be profitable. a) Costs of Doing Business: belief that corporate harms are inevitable side effects of a productive capitalist system. They are a cost that we need to bare. b) Dangers of Regulation: a fear that greater modulation and increases in taxes associated
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