WHITE-COLLAR CRIME AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE
One sign of maturity in a research field is the constant and conscious utilization of specific empirical findings to throw light on general theoretical problems. As long as this takes place only as a caprice of occasional deviants, a science has not reached the stage where research becomes genuinely cumulative. The study of crime is in this respect a pertinent example of missed opportunities. The numerous studies in the etiology of criminal and delinquent behavior have, by and large, constituted an applied field, where research might instead also have been oriented toward basic social theory or at least toward theories of the middle range.
One main obstacle to the development of a fruitful theoretical orientation is to be found in the tendency to treat criminal behavior, on the one hand, and the system of legal sanctions, on the other, as two separate problems. In our opinion, crime and punishment are most fruitfully handled as two aspects of a group process or two links in a specific type of social interaction.
It is frequently impossible to discover the sociopsychological origins____________________