The Rise of White Collar Crime: A Theoretical Perspective

Essay by tenacious_4804University, Bachelor's October 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.7

White Collar Crime is becoming a much bigger problem in today's society than it was in the past. Factors that contribute to the increase of white collar crimes include advances in technology, growth of the information age using computers and the internet, higher levels of education, and the fact that there is a greater emphasis on money and power in today's society than there has been in the past. Higher levels of education, coupled with the advancement of technology and the age of the internet have made it easier for white collar criminals to avoid detection. These factors have also increased the opportunity to commit these types of offenses and have enabled offenders to develop new and improved ways to commit such crimes. While most of these factors can be originally viewed as positive enforcements, they have the opposite effect where white collar crime is concerned. The shift in behavior from upstanding businessman to career criminal might be further explained by looking at some of theories associated with deviant behavior.

Although, white collar crime is hard to theorize due to the nature of the criminal act some theories that can be used to help understand it better are the Rational Choice Theory, the Anomie-Strain Theory, and possibly the Differential Association Theory. However, so far efforts to place one particular theory on white collar crimes have been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, we will look at the theories mentioned and their relationship to these types of criminal behavior.

First, we will look at the Rational Choice Theory and how it can be used to understand the motivation behind some white collar criminals. This theory basically takes the position that criminal behavior is a matter of free will and choice. It involves an analysis of the situation, which includes the act...