Nearly six decades have passed since the concept of white-collar crime was introduced and systematic scholarly investigation of it began. Although it has proven to be one of the most challenging and controversial topics in sociology, the concept has taken firm root in lay and scholarly lexicons where it is widely understand and used to denote a type of crime that differs fundamentally from street crime. One way it is different is the backgrounds and characteristics of it perpetrators; the poor and disreputable fodder routinely encountered in police stations and in studies of street crime are seldom in evidence here. Most if not all white-collar offenders by contrast are distinguished by lives by privilege, much of it with origins in class inequality.
This reader begins together under a unifying theoretical approach the current state of knowledge about and debate over white-collar crime. Editors' introductions preface each of the six chapters in the book, and each of the thirty-one carefully chosen selections - both classic and contemporary has been significantly edited for readability and suitability for the college student. The readings address conceptual conflicts as well as empirical studies of the strucutre of opportunities, the characteristics of white-collar offenders and their decision making, and the various approaches to controlling white-collar offering. Additionally, the book includes twenty-one specially designed panels that call-out particular issues from the readings by offering case examples taken from local and regional newspapers. Together, the readings and the panels offer the student both analysis and examples of white-collar crime.