The notion that organizations play an important role in the social organization of illegality is developed and offered as  common factor that captures many of the conceptions of white collar crimes. However, distinctions based on behavioral criteria are ultimately recommended. They include consideration of the nature, organization, and social location of white collar illegality; the normative dimension of white collar illegality; the enforcement of norms proscribing white collar illegality; and the disposition and sanctioning of white collar illegality.


More than 40 years later after Sutherlands coined the term ‘ white collar crime ‘ into the criminological vernacular, the Deputy General of the US remarked on the difficulty of defining the phrase and on the absence of any useful definitions of the crime.

These fundamental confusions result from the fact that “white collar crime” has always been a catch-all category for social theorists, policy analysts, and law enforcement officials.

White collar crime is a social conduct rather than a legal cataract. The conceptual boundaries associated with it reflect the indifferent social boundaries. However, it is neither the abandonment of generalization in favour of catering to the interests of users of the white collar crime concept.

However the real proactive solution for this is to remove questions and move to analysis.

“Who is the white-collar criminal?”

White-collar crime is traditionally associated with high status and respect-able offenders: the ‘crimes of the powerful’ and corporate crime. However, examination of a group of white-collar offences reveals that offenders  typically small businesses, employees, and those more properly described as ‘criminal businesses’. While this could be attribute to the ‘immunity’ of the corporate offender from prosecution, it can be argued that such patterns of offending  not only enforcement policies but also wider structural  factors. Thus, analyses of economic and white- collar crime may concentrate  on the corporate offender, and make over simplistic distinctions between ‘corporate’ and other varieties.

The Role of Organizations in Illegality

Excessive concern for individual behavior in traditional definitions of white collar crime has resulted in a neglect for its organizational dimension. Organizations generate illegality from criminal opportunities . First, and most obviously, 1ike their individual counterparts, organizations serve as victims of crime. Organizations increase opportunities of crimes with explicit resources. Organizations alter disputes to create more chances of white collar crimes. In summary, organizations create opportunities for illegality  by sewing as wealthy and relatively accessible victims; by expanding the scope of transactional systems and generating impersonal transactions and their related forms of abuse; by creating and allocating resources and opportunities, the exploitation of which is desirable to organizational insiders and outsiders; by providing a strategic device to facilitate and cover-up illegalities; and by conditioning the development of new normative prescriptions capable of breach.

Convicted white-Collar Criminals

Attorneys work hard to make life as easy as possible for the criminals in prison arguing the fact that it is worse for someone from the elite to end up in prison. However, research indicates that it is easier for a white-collar criminal than for a street criminal to spend time in prison.


The idea that white-collar criminals are especially sensitive to imprisonment is based on the premise that they are of higher status than street criminals. They belong to the elite in society, and their fall from grace is much greater, since the higher people, the further they fall. According to the special sensitivity hypothesis, the claim is made that white-collar offenders experience the pains of imprisonment to a greater degree than traditional street offenders. They enter a foreign world where they have to lose their status symbol. The transition of a life of freedom to a life of full captivation may be particularily shockin to the white collar crime people.


The complex of social organizations encapsulated by the phenomenon of white collar crime is truly a microcosm of the larger social world in which it is put. A number of rich questions can be posed about aspects of this miniature social world, derived from all of the social science and normative disciplines. Certainly some of these questions are more relevant than others, and some better exploit the features of white collar crimes as a focus for the refinement and enrichment of one’s understanding of the larger social world.

There is a need for research that generates detailed inscriptions of a variety of different white collar offenses. These would reflect a more descriptive sample of offenses than characterize studies available at the present time. It would then be possible to get sane sense of the typical characteristics as well as the range of characteristics for particular kinds of offenses and to contrast different offenses on the basis of these characteristics.

The Normative Dimension of White Collar Illegality

 Research questions concerning the development and change as well as the attitudes, social values, and social and legal norms with regard to white collar crime are considered in this section. Although some research on the dimension can be found, much of the literature on the commencement of legal norms in the white collar area remain speculative. Data collection and analysis for both of these topics are described in this section. It concludes with a discussion of the policy implications.

The Nature of Sanctions

Given successful prosecution, sanctions must be imposed. White collar crime sanctions vary both in severity and in kind, both within and across modes of prosecution. Criminal judgments include fines, prison sentences, suspended sentences and probation, now are coming into vogue — requirements that offenders make public addresses about their “evil ways,” that corporations make charitable contributions, that individuals engage in. Sanctions emanating from administrative proceedings can involve revocation of licenses or forms of disbarment, but may also involve lesser penalties including suspensions of business or personnel, monetary fines, and required changes in organizational structure or management.


The study of the general preventive effects of punishment or deterrence has been an important research area in the field of criminology. Perhaps one of the major findings of this body of research, the greater deterrent value of sanctions imposed on behaviors which are “instrumental,” or rationally calculated, rather than “expressive, ” in motivation. In contrast to traditional forms of crime, white collar crimes are thought to be more instrumental than expressive. To the extent that it can be assumed that white collar crimes are the response to a calculus of the probability of economic gain, this form of criminality is particularly appropriate for the study of deterrence.

What is the impact of the publicity of sanctions

A front page New York Times story on William F. Buckley’s SEC consent injunction (Miller 1979c) in contrast with the typical injunction which earns an inch or two on one of the back pages of the Times, if at all? Survey research which evaluates the knowledge of various white collar crime audiences about the delivery of sanctions and of their reaction to sanctioning would be valuable

In characterizing the  white collar crime defense the past quarter of a century, Gilbert Geis  noted that the “white-collar crime researcher might write an article, then a book, and later perhaps a general overview of the theory and substantive content of work on white-collar crime. Unlike the stereotypic overview described by Geis, this paper looks to the future rather than the past. It serves not as the bridge of professional respectability that leads away from attention to white collar crime; rather it hopefully provides some of the building blocks with which others can work and construct a stronger bridge leading toward important systematic work in this area.





Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: