White-Collar Criminal: The Offender in Business and the Professions

By Gilbert Geis | Go to book overview

I WHAT IS "WHITE-COLLAR CRIME"?

Formal study of white-collar crime as a distinct, separable kind of criminal behavior got clearly underway with the publication of Sutherland's "White- Collar Criminality," the third reading in this part, though earlier writers (notably the two represented at the beginning of the part) had paid special attention to "criminaloid behavior, as Edward A. Ross called it, and to the "crimes of the upperworld," in the designation of Albert Morris.

Sutherland was fifty-seven at the time he delivered his paper--his first published work on the subject--as the presidential address to the American Sociological Society in 1939. He later reported that he had been at work far more than a quarter of a century on the topic. He was born in 1883 in Gibbon, Nebraska, and taught briefly at Grand Island College before obtaining his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1913. In 1924, Sutherland published his highly regarded Principles of Criminology, a text which, with revisions by Donald R. Cressey, is now in its seventh edition. The high personal esteem in which Sutherland was held is reflected in an obituary notice at the time of his death in 1950 by John Mueller, a colleague of Sutherland's at Indiana University:

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