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White Collar and Corporate Crime


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6

Module description

Within criminology, the study of white-collar crime has been relatively new and relatively marginal compared to traditional crime, even though the latter costs much more in terms of social and criminal damage. Powerful people who commit white collar and corporate crimes often operate undetected; if detected, they may not be prosecuted, and if prosecuted, they may not be convicted.

This module will provide an introduction to white-collar and corporate crime, definitions, characteristics and theories, with emphasis on the scope of the crimes of the powerful, and will compare this with traditional crime. Situating white-collar crime on the broader spectrum of deviance and criminal behaviour, the module will encourage a critical reflection concerning the scope of the crimes of the powerful in understanding illegal acts of omission or commission in legitimate formal organisations and levels of enforcement.

The module will also examine the problems faced by police and law enforcement agencies when dealing with white-collar and corporate crime. White-collar and corporate crime statistics will be critically examined, as well as the concept of the 'dark figure of crime' in relation to the crimes of the powerful.