One of the three sociological theories of the causes of white collar crime as identified in the book Profit Without Honor is the societal causes. The American culture believes that to be successful you must have money, lots of money. Success is based solely upon materialistic items such as luxurious homes, nice cars, boats, etc. Therefore, we are basically raised to be greedy. So when individuals engage in white-collar crime, though they are breaking the law, they are often conforming to cultural values-such as the accumulation of wealth (Rosoff, Pontell, & Tillman 126).
Societal causes also includes an individual’s desire to own material things like money, authority and other privileges. When one becomes financially stable, he/she will think that people in the society will look up to him with great admiration. In the United States, majority of people aims to achieve the American dream. This gives out a sense of belongingness and boost one’s confidence even more. Some white-collar crimes are committed as a result of the pressure to meet self-defined or externally imposed standards of successful performances (Rosoff, Pontell, & Tillman 120-121).
There are social pressures and unexpected events that causes white collar crime. Violent encounters and criminal cases encourages one to seek for more ways of gaining money in order to support their needs in seeking for fair justice. Loss of financial resources will lead them to consult employees who have more access in the company’s accounting.
Negative experiences associated with people who dominates over other inside company premises produces white collar criminals. This is because their bad experiences are not properly addressed and at the same time the person who abuses and bullies them remains upright and in stable position. Misunderstanding between employee and supervisor is a good example of this scenario. Low wages also cause social inferiority to employees making them rebel against the company and eventually do white collar crime as a revenge (Conklin 86-87).
The social environment of companies appears to breed white collar criminals, generally because the atmosphere and the people who promotes it. The market place is extremely competitive and when businesses can not compete legally, they may do so illegally through co-workers influence. The greed of several key players at any organization can cause the entire corporation to fail (Conklin 86-87).
Societal causes of white collar crime is so easy to determine. White collar criminals are once, victims too. They are one of those endangered employees, patients who are not capable of paying hospital bills, underpaid workers and anything that incorporates society and culture. Societal causes are also caused by trading scandals inside institutions which definitely loosen the faith of the in the nation’s economy (Rosoff, Pontell, & Tillman 226). Criminals are more likely to commit white collar crime as their means of fighting for total equality and democracy.
Conklin, John E. Criminology. 2nd ed. New York: MacMillan, 1986
Rosoff, Stephen M., Henry N. Pontell, and Robert H. Tillman. Profit Without Honor: White-
Collar Crime and the Looting of America. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Publishing, 2007.