White Collar Crime And Deviance

1305 Words 6 Pages
Deviance, the violation of a social norm, usually leads to some type of negative sanction, whether it be as simple as being ignored or as serious as violence or jail time. The norms and punishments vary across different groups with different values or expectations. Deviance too, can vary between groups, especially between social classes. For example, Most street crime is committed by poorer classes and white-collar crime is more often committed by upper classes. White-collar crime is a rarely punished because society, and the criminal justice system, looks more favorably on those with more power and prosperity. White-collar crime has fewer negative sanctions than other forms of deviance because society is biased in favor of wealthy individuals. …show more content…
Most white-collar crimes involve some sort of deceit, fraud, or scam. Fraud, counterfeiting, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, securities fraud, insider trading, tax evasion, and money laundering are common types of white-collar crime (Thomson Reuters, 2015; Henslin, 2015). Most white-collar crime falls into the Innovation deviant path, where cultural goals, like making money, are accepted, but the institutionalized, in this case legal, means. Ironically, some street crime, like robbery and drug dealing, are considered innovation deviance as well, although are more likely to be prosecuted and given harsh punishments (Henslin, 2015; Class Action, 2015). White-collar crime is not victimless, not only can it cause companies to go bankrupt, but it can cost investors billions or wipe the life savings of families (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015). Despite the high cost of the crimes, it is rarely prosecuted because there is not fear surrounding it like there would be around robberies or other crimes where the damage is more visible (Martinez, …show more content…
Another false assumption I had was that only the upper class can be white-collar criminals; some judges consider pirated music and international pharmacy purchases, both which can be done by the middle and lower classes to be “white-collar” crime. I was also surprised, and interested, to learn how common white-collar crime is and that Edwin Sutherland’s broad definition of white-collar crime is considered too strict for many justice departments across the nation (Baker, 2004). As I worked on the paper, I realized that the perception of wealth and class are real norms, whereas legality may just be an ideal norm, deferring negative sanctions off the rich. I was appalled by how much white-collar crime there is and how little is done to stop it or pay reparations to

Related Documents