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
Currie, Elliott: The Market Society and Crime
Nancy Lynne Hogan
Elliott Currie's work spans three decades of empirical analysis on why crime, particularly violent crime, plagues the United States. His argument focuses on the labor market and its influence on crime, noting that private economic gain has become central to all aspects of life. This goal of making money takes precedence over all other social institutions, creating structural mechanisms that eventually block people from successful employment. Thus, the market economy promotes an individualistic society that denies responsibility for the conditions it creates, placing those most at-risk in an environment that breeds crime and violence. The United States is a society that has been built around financial success, with the primary emphasis on personal economic gain. Currie refers to this as a market economy. When all aspects of a society center on economic gain, Currie labels it a market society. A market society is one where individual economic competition is encouraged ...