Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anomie and White-Collar Crime
Émile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton are the classic authors stimulating the anomie tradition, “a rich body of research and theorizing in which the concept of anomie plays a central role” (Passas, 1995, p. 92). Anomie means a low commitment to mainstream rules in entire societies or smaller social units. It is a social state in which the guiding power of normative standards is undermined by sudden social changes, disjunctions between culturally induced goals and available legitimate means, or other sources. The concept of white-collar crime was introduced to social sciences by Edwin Sutherland in 1940. This led to vigorous debates on the nature, causes, and extent of crime, on the role of powerful actors in lawmaking and enforcement, on the role of the media, and on the social effects of different types of misconduct. Significant and expanding empirical studies have added to theoretical elaborations. According to Sally Simpson and ...