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Journal ArticleDOI

Crimes of the Powerful: Marxism, Crime, and Deviance:

01 May 1977-Sociology (Sage PublicationsSage CA: Thousand Oaks, CA)-Vol. 11, Iss: 2, pp 395-396
About: This article is published in Sociology.The article was published on 1977-05-01. It has received 65 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Deviance (sociology).
Citations
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the dominant arguments within academic literature on appropriate and feasible regulatory enforcement, arguing that the approaches to regulation thereby advocated have been easily degraded as a result of their compatibility with neo-liberal economic strategy.
Abstract: This paper documents the vulnerability of the UK workplace safety regime to ‘regulatory degradation’. Following a brief overview of this regime, the paper examines the dominant arguments within academic literature on appropriate and feasible regulatory enforcement, arguing that the approaches to regulation thereby advocated have been easily degraded as a result of their compatibility with neo-liberal economic strategy. A subsequent analysis of empirical trends within safety enforcement reveals a virtual collapse of formal enforcement, as political and resource pressures have taken their toll on the regulatory authority. Finally, the paper indicates that the increasing impunity with which employers can kill and injure is particularly problematic as we enter sustained economic recession, and underlines the urgent need for regulatory alternatives.

79 citations


Cites background from "Crimes of the Powerful: Marxism, Cr..."

  • ...…model is based upon the idea that power in modern social orders is dispersed rather than concentrated, that a variety of interests can be mobilized to infl uence the formal political agenda, and that social change, through mobilization of those interests, is possible (see Pearce 1976 : 38 – 41)....

    [...]

Dissertation
01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, an improved version of rational choice theory in criminology is proposed to analyze financial white-collar crime in various financial systems, namely, market-based, socialist, and Islamic systems.
Abstract: Financial crimes have become one of the most destructive types of crime in post-industrial societies in terms of economic and financial consequences. While the importance of financial institutions in the modern economic system cannot be negated, their critical function in the society with their enormous powers brings about many questions, especially in relation to systems of checks and balances. The increasing number of adverse examples in the last decades provide evidence for the enormous negative consequences of corporate failures resulting from shortcomings in the checks and balances. This study, hence, is motivated by the current financial failures, and aims at exploring and examining financial crimes in terms of the process of becoming a financial white-collar criminal in various financial systems, namely capitalist, socialist and Islamic systems, as well as exploring the vulnerability and propensity of each system in relation to financial crimes. In addition, this study, departing from the shortcomings of Eurocentric understanding and referring to cultural and religious norms, aims to re-conceptualise some of the concepts, subcategories and dimensions with the objective of developing and theorising an improved version of rational choice theory in criminology for a better comparison. In fulfilling the aims of the study, a discourse analysis approach through a deconstruction method is utilised to locate and identify the underpinnings of the existing theoretical frameworks through comparative case study as a method, by comparing extreme cases of market/capitalist finance, socialist/transitional and Islamic/moral finance. In addition, grounded theory is used as a method to construct a modified version of the existing theories by using a number of formal codes such as ‘motivation’, ‘environment’, ‘target’, ‘guardian’ as concepts and ‘opportunity spaces’, ‘real, perceived selves’, ‘ideal and feared’, ‘need and guarding gaps’, ‘haste’, ‘expectations’, ‘deviance’, ‘crime motivation’, ‘act of crime’ etc. as subcategories and ‘material’, ‘social’ and ‘moral’ as dimensions. Such an attempt is rationalised on the ground that the current criminology theories are unfortunately linear theories and they do not make decisions about a regular person. Therefore, there is no crime theory that is confident enough to receive a regular person and make dynamic, relativist, complex analysis about them in prospect, depending on the changing conditions of the inner and outer world of the individual, unlike the ‘complex theory of crime’ produced by this research through grounded theory. A comparative analysis to order the financial systems according to their vulnerability to financial crimes is also provided in this study using the ‘opportunity spaces’ concept of the grounded theory which develops the classical ‘opportunity’ argument of the rational choice theory to almost a small theory of opportunity. This analysis suggests that the most vulnerable financial system to financial crime is the market based financial system, which is followed by socialist/transitional and Islamized financial systems. The comparative analysis of the study on crime propensities of financial systems also confirms the literature on economic and financial systems that argues that the financial systems are converging despite their strong and distinctive ontological and epistemological differences and capacities to enrich and improve each other. The theoretical model developed in this study reveals that crime motivation is only an extension of ordinary motivation and has a dynamic nature. Dynamic in both the micro world of the individual and his/her close social/physical environment and also the macro environment in terms of the wider space of political-economy and social culture. This study fills an important gap in criminology literature which has been sought for decades since the 1970s. Indeed, the resultant theory in this study is unique in its approach because it is a micro-founded macro theory, unlike all the criminology theories which have either micro (biological, psychological theories, control theories) or macro (i.e. symbolic interactions, social bonds theory, life-course theory, conflict theory) foundations.

58 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...Among these definitions are; ̳corporate corruption‘ and ̳abuse of corporate power‘ (Clinard, 1990), ̳crimes of the powerful‘ (Pearce, 1976), ‘organisational deviance‘ (Punch, 1996), ‘occupational crime‘ (Quinney, 1977), ‘business crime‘ (Clarke, 1990), ̳elite crime‘, ̳abuse of occupational trust‘ (Shapiro....

    [...]

Reference BookDOI
15 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors leave behind the polarised debate, previously surrounding the relationship between natural resources and conflict, preferring a more nuanced approach that allows for multiple causes at various levels.
Abstract: Inhabitants of poor, rural areas in the Global South heavily depend on natural resources in their immediate vicinity. Conflicts over and exploitation of these resources - whether it is water, fish, wood fuel, minerals, or land - severely affect their livelihoods. The contributors to this volume leave behind the polarised debate, previously surrounding the relationship between natural resources and conflict, preferring a more nuanced approach that allows for multiple causes at various levels. The contributions cover a wide array of resources, geographical contexts (Africa, Asia and Latin America), and conflict dynamics. Most are of a comparative nature, exploring experiences of conflict as well as cooperation in multiple regions. This volume finds its origin in an innovative research programme with the acronym CoCooN, steered by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/WOTRO) and involving universities and civil society partners in many countries. It presents the conceptual approaches adhered to by each of seven interdisciplinary projects, ranging from green criminology and political ecology to institutional analysis, legal pluralism and identity politics. The volume will be of interest to academics and practitioners concerned with an understanding of conflict as well as cooperation over natural resources.

51 citations

01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: A review of the literature reveals a recent growth in critical criminological analyses of rural crime and societal reactions to it as mentioned in this paper, and the main objective of this article is twofold: (1) to describe the key reasons for a more fully developed rural critical crime and (2) to outline some of its key elements.
Abstract: A review of the extant literature reveals a recent growth in critical criminological analyses of rural crime and societal reactions to it. Nevertheless, rural critical criminology is still in a state of infancy and requires much more development. Thus, heavily influenced by Taylor, Walton, and Young’s (1973) path-breaking book The New Criminology and by research on woman abuse in rural communities, the main objective of this article, then, is twofold: (1) to describe the key reasons for a more fully developed rural critical criminology and (2) to outline some of its key elements. Also included in this article is a brief history of rural criminology and a discussion of ways that a critical approach to the study of rural crime can be applied to both policy and practice. As British critical criminologists Paul Walton and Jock Young (1998: vii) remind us in their preface to The New Criminology Revisited: Radical criminology…has since proliferated, developed and flourished. The various currents that form its past, whether Marxist, radical feminist or anarchist, continue in fierce dispute but have in common the notion that crime and the present day processes of criminalization are rooted in the core structures of society, whether it is class nature, its patriarchal form or its inherent authoritarianism.

47 citations

27 Jan 2015
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the assumptions, agendas and relations of power that shaped Bill C-45, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations), revisions to the criminal code of Canada aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability.
Abstract: This dissertation critically interrogates the assumptions, agendas and relations of power that shaped Bill C-45, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations), revisions to the Criminal Code of Canada aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability. Colloquially referred to as the Westray bill, the legislation was passed in the fall of 2003 in response to the deaths of twenty-six workers at the Westray mine in 1992, a disaster caused by unsafe and illegal working conditions. Using twenty-three semi-structured interviews with individuals with knowledge and insight into the evolution of Canada’s corporate criminal liability legislation, and transcripts from Canada’s Parliament regarding the enactment of this law, the dissertation critically explores the constitution of corporate criminal liability – the factors that produce legal categorizations of corporate harm and wrongdoing. Of particular interest are the official discourses that shaped conceptualizations of corporate crime and corporate criminal liability and how these discourses correspond to the broader social-political-economic context. Drawing theoretical inspiration from Foucauldian and neo-Marxist (Althusserian) literatures, the dissertation argues that particular legal, economic and cultural discourses shaped, but did not determine, corporate criminal liability in Canada. In turn, these discourses are constitutive of class struggles over the role of the corporate form in extracting surplus labour and accumulating capital, the results of which helped stabilize, reproduce and transform the class-based capitalist social formation. Overall, the dissertation suggests that the assumptions that animated Canada’s corporate criminal liability legislation and the meanings inscribed in its provisions throw serious doubt on its ability to hold corporations legally accountable for their harmful, anti-social acts. There is little reason to believe that the Westray bill will produce a crackdown on safety crimes, or seriously challenge corporations to address workplace injuries and death. While it will hold some corporations and corporate actors accountable – and thus far it has been the smallest and weakest – the primary causes of workplace injury and death (e.g., the tension between profit maximization and the costs of safety and the relative worth of workers/employees versus owners and investors) will continue.

33 citations


Cites background from "Crimes of the Powerful: Marxism, Cr..."

  • ...A second and related point is that criminology and the sociology of deviance have been, and continue to be, relatively inhospitable to studies of corporate crime (Tombs and Whyte 2007) and more generally to “crimes of the powerful” (Pearce 1976)....

    [...]

  • ...A range of terms have been used over the years to characterize crimes committed by corporations and their actors or representatives: white collar crime (Croall 1992; Sutherland 1940 and 1949), corporate crime (Braithwaite 1984; Pearce and Snider 1995), elite deviance (Simon and Eitzen 1986), “crimes of the powerful” (Pearce 1976), economic crimes (Edelhertz 1970), occupational crime (Green 1990) and safety crimes (Tombs and Whyte 2007) (cf....

    [...]

References
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the dominant arguments within academic literature on appropriate and feasible regulatory enforcement, arguing that the approaches to regulation thereby advocated have been easily degraded as a result of their compatibility with neo-liberal economic strategy.
Abstract: This paper documents the vulnerability of the UK workplace safety regime to ‘regulatory degradation’. Following a brief overview of this regime, the paper examines the dominant arguments within academic literature on appropriate and feasible regulatory enforcement, arguing that the approaches to regulation thereby advocated have been easily degraded as a result of their compatibility with neo-liberal economic strategy. A subsequent analysis of empirical trends within safety enforcement reveals a virtual collapse of formal enforcement, as political and resource pressures have taken their toll on the regulatory authority. Finally, the paper indicates that the increasing impunity with which employers can kill and injure is particularly problematic as we enter sustained economic recession, and underlines the urgent need for regulatory alternatives.

79 citations

Dissertation
01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, an improved version of rational choice theory in criminology is proposed to analyze financial white-collar crime in various financial systems, namely, market-based, socialist, and Islamic systems.
Abstract: Financial crimes have become one of the most destructive types of crime in post-industrial societies in terms of economic and financial consequences. While the importance of financial institutions in the modern economic system cannot be negated, their critical function in the society with their enormous powers brings about many questions, especially in relation to systems of checks and balances. The increasing number of adverse examples in the last decades provide evidence for the enormous negative consequences of corporate failures resulting from shortcomings in the checks and balances. This study, hence, is motivated by the current financial failures, and aims at exploring and examining financial crimes in terms of the process of becoming a financial white-collar criminal in various financial systems, namely capitalist, socialist and Islamic systems, as well as exploring the vulnerability and propensity of each system in relation to financial crimes. In addition, this study, departing from the shortcomings of Eurocentric understanding and referring to cultural and religious norms, aims to re-conceptualise some of the concepts, subcategories and dimensions with the objective of developing and theorising an improved version of rational choice theory in criminology for a better comparison. In fulfilling the aims of the study, a discourse analysis approach through a deconstruction method is utilised to locate and identify the underpinnings of the existing theoretical frameworks through comparative case study as a method, by comparing extreme cases of market/capitalist finance, socialist/transitional and Islamic/moral finance. In addition, grounded theory is used as a method to construct a modified version of the existing theories by using a number of formal codes such as ‘motivation’, ‘environment’, ‘target’, ‘guardian’ as concepts and ‘opportunity spaces’, ‘real, perceived selves’, ‘ideal and feared’, ‘need and guarding gaps’, ‘haste’, ‘expectations’, ‘deviance’, ‘crime motivation’, ‘act of crime’ etc. as subcategories and ‘material’, ‘social’ and ‘moral’ as dimensions. Such an attempt is rationalised on the ground that the current criminology theories are unfortunately linear theories and they do not make decisions about a regular person. Therefore, there is no crime theory that is confident enough to receive a regular person and make dynamic, relativist, complex analysis about them in prospect, depending on the changing conditions of the inner and outer world of the individual, unlike the ‘complex theory of crime’ produced by this research through grounded theory. A comparative analysis to order the financial systems according to their vulnerability to financial crimes is also provided in this study using the ‘opportunity spaces’ concept of the grounded theory which develops the classical ‘opportunity’ argument of the rational choice theory to almost a small theory of opportunity. This analysis suggests that the most vulnerable financial system to financial crime is the market based financial system, which is followed by socialist/transitional and Islamized financial systems. The comparative analysis of the study on crime propensities of financial systems also confirms the literature on economic and financial systems that argues that the financial systems are converging despite their strong and distinctive ontological and epistemological differences and capacities to enrich and improve each other. The theoretical model developed in this study reveals that crime motivation is only an extension of ordinary motivation and has a dynamic nature. Dynamic in both the micro world of the individual and his/her close social/physical environment and also the macro environment in terms of the wider space of political-economy and social culture. This study fills an important gap in criminology literature which has been sought for decades since the 1970s. Indeed, the resultant theory in this study is unique in its approach because it is a micro-founded macro theory, unlike all the criminology theories which have either micro (biological, psychological theories, control theories) or macro (i.e. symbolic interactions, social bonds theory, life-course theory, conflict theory) foundations.

58 citations

Reference BookDOI
15 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors leave behind the polarised debate, previously surrounding the relationship between natural resources and conflict, preferring a more nuanced approach that allows for multiple causes at various levels.
Abstract: Inhabitants of poor, rural areas in the Global South heavily depend on natural resources in their immediate vicinity. Conflicts over and exploitation of these resources - whether it is water, fish, wood fuel, minerals, or land - severely affect their livelihoods. The contributors to this volume leave behind the polarised debate, previously surrounding the relationship between natural resources and conflict, preferring a more nuanced approach that allows for multiple causes at various levels. The contributions cover a wide array of resources, geographical contexts (Africa, Asia and Latin America), and conflict dynamics. Most are of a comparative nature, exploring experiences of conflict as well as cooperation in multiple regions. This volume finds its origin in an innovative research programme with the acronym CoCooN, steered by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/WOTRO) and involving universities and civil society partners in many countries. It presents the conceptual approaches adhered to by each of seven interdisciplinary projects, ranging from green criminology and political ecology to institutional analysis, legal pluralism and identity politics. The volume will be of interest to academics and practitioners concerned with an understanding of conflict as well as cooperation over natural resources.

51 citations

01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: A review of the literature reveals a recent growth in critical criminological analyses of rural crime and societal reactions to it as mentioned in this paper, and the main objective of this article is twofold: (1) to describe the key reasons for a more fully developed rural critical crime and (2) to outline some of its key elements.
Abstract: A review of the extant literature reveals a recent growth in critical criminological analyses of rural crime and societal reactions to it. Nevertheless, rural critical criminology is still in a state of infancy and requires much more development. Thus, heavily influenced by Taylor, Walton, and Young’s (1973) path-breaking book The New Criminology and by research on woman abuse in rural communities, the main objective of this article, then, is twofold: (1) to describe the key reasons for a more fully developed rural critical criminology and (2) to outline some of its key elements. Also included in this article is a brief history of rural criminology and a discussion of ways that a critical approach to the study of rural crime can be applied to both policy and practice. As British critical criminologists Paul Walton and Jock Young (1998: vii) remind us in their preface to The New Criminology Revisited: Radical criminology…has since proliferated, developed and flourished. The various currents that form its past, whether Marxist, radical feminist or anarchist, continue in fierce dispute but have in common the notion that crime and the present day processes of criminalization are rooted in the core structures of society, whether it is class nature, its patriarchal form or its inherent authoritarianism.

47 citations

27 Jan 2015
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the assumptions, agendas and relations of power that shaped Bill C-45, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations), revisions to the criminal code of Canada aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability.
Abstract: This dissertation critically interrogates the assumptions, agendas and relations of power that shaped Bill C-45, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations), revisions to the Criminal Code of Canada aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability. Colloquially referred to as the Westray bill, the legislation was passed in the fall of 2003 in response to the deaths of twenty-six workers at the Westray mine in 1992, a disaster caused by unsafe and illegal working conditions. Using twenty-three semi-structured interviews with individuals with knowledge and insight into the evolution of Canada’s corporate criminal liability legislation, and transcripts from Canada’s Parliament regarding the enactment of this law, the dissertation critically explores the constitution of corporate criminal liability – the factors that produce legal categorizations of corporate harm and wrongdoing. Of particular interest are the official discourses that shaped conceptualizations of corporate crime and corporate criminal liability and how these discourses correspond to the broader social-political-economic context. Drawing theoretical inspiration from Foucauldian and neo-Marxist (Althusserian) literatures, the dissertation argues that particular legal, economic and cultural discourses shaped, but did not determine, corporate criminal liability in Canada. In turn, these discourses are constitutive of class struggles over the role of the corporate form in extracting surplus labour and accumulating capital, the results of which helped stabilize, reproduce and transform the class-based capitalist social formation. Overall, the dissertation suggests that the assumptions that animated Canada’s corporate criminal liability legislation and the meanings inscribed in its provisions throw serious doubt on its ability to hold corporations legally accountable for their harmful, anti-social acts. There is little reason to believe that the Westray bill will produce a crackdown on safety crimes, or seriously challenge corporations to address workplace injuries and death. While it will hold some corporations and corporate actors accountable – and thus far it has been the smallest and weakest – the primary causes of workplace injury and death (e.g., the tension between profit maximization and the costs of safety and the relative worth of workers/employees versus owners and investors) will continue.

33 citations