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The aim of this investigation is to examine young people’s awareness of the existence and extent of white collar crime in society. Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > Sociology > The aim of this investigation is to examine young people’s awareness of the existence and extent of white collar crime in society.

The aim of this investigation is to examine young people’s awareness of the existence and extent of white collar crime in society.

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1700 | Submitted: 02-Dec-2007
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc

Description

The aim of this investigation is to examine young people’s awareness of the existence and extent of white collar crime in society. The rationale for this choice stems from the desire to examine the Marxist assertion that the ruling class manipulate society in order to benefit their own interests.

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Aim
The aim of this investigation is to examine young people’s awareness of the existence and extent of white collar crime in society. The rationale for this choice stems from the desire to examine the Marxist assertion that the ruling class manipulate society in order to benefit their own interests. Therefore their ideological hegemony is utilised to define crime in working class terms thus ensuring ignorance of their own criminal activities. Box (1983) suggests that white collar crime is effectively hidden through ‘ideological mystification’ whereby the ruling class criminalise the activities of the working class and perpetuate the idea that street crime offers the greatest threat to society. This relates it suggests that ideological manipulation is used to disguise the criminal activities of the ruling class by focusing concerns towards working class crimes.
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Context and Concepts
The central concept within this study is ‘white collar crime’. This refers to crimes specifically performed by white collar employees such as fraud and bankruptcy fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime and forgery. It also includes corporate crimes which are activities committed by companies to increase their profits such as breaking health and safety laws. This relates to this study as the perception of the risk and threats of such crimes will be examined in relation to street crime.

Snider (1993) investigated the extent and cost of corporate crime and argues that although street crime is more visible in the media, causes more outrage and is punished more severely, corporate crime causes much more damage to the fabric of society. She found that corporate crimes had a much higher human cost than street crime. This is illustrated by comparing statistics in the USA where annually there are about 20,000 murders in contrast to 14,000 deaths from industrial accidents, 30,000 deaths from unsafe consumer products and 100,000 deaths from occupationally induced diseases and environmental pollution. In financial terms street crime involves losses of around $4 billion annually, whereas losses from corporate crime are over twenty times more. This substantial difference is evidenced by the $325 billion spent each year by the US government to bail out companies bankrupted by fraud.
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