Differential Association Theory

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Corporate crime is an ever evolving and extensive issue. Criminologists have applied a number of different theories in attempt to explain why corporate is committed, yet it still remains an intricate matter. Two of the more prominent of these theories are Rational choice theory and Differential association theory. The the purpose of this essay will be to apply both of the aforementioned theories to corporate crime and ultimately conclude that although both theories hold strengths and flaws, neither is more successful than the other at explaining corporate crime. However before these theories are evaluated, corporate crime must first be defined. Marshall Clinard and Richard Quinney divided white-collar crime into occupational crime and corporate…show more content…
The crime benefits the investors or the individuals who are in high positions in the company or corporation. The main difference between corporate crime and other branches that stem from white collar crime is that corporate crime benefits the company or the corporation opposed to the individual offender alone. Rational choice theory also has some links to the actions, assumptions and preferences of an individual. The basic idea behind this is that the behavioural patterns in a society indicates the decisions made by people, which in this context are white-collar criminals, as they attempt to optimize benefits and reduce costs. In other words, white-collar offenders make choices on how they should commit the crime by measuring benefits against the cost of their action (Archer & Tritter, 2000). Although the aforementioned theory implies the decision to break the law is made by individuals alone, these individuals are affected by the context within which they are employed and commit their crimes. That is, those who would commit corporate crime are affected by the characteristics and imperatives of their business…show more content…
The benefits would include such things as career advancement and an increase in personal income. However the negatives would also have to be evaluated such as a formal legal sanction and a reduction in the prestige of the organization. If the benefits of the crime outweigh the risk then the corporation is more than likely to commit the crime. However critiques claim that rational choice theory fails to take into account contingencies such as environmental influence. A criminological theory that does evaluate the environment is differential

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