A RE-EXAMINATION OF THE CONCEPT OF
Robert G. Caldwell
The concept of white-collar crime, which was originated by Professor Edwin H. Sutherland before World War II, is now widely used in sociological literature, and by many students it is considered to be a valuable contribution to the theory of criminal behavior. However, some sociologists and many members of the legal profession have been critical of its implications and have urged that it be more strictly defined or entirely discarded. It is the purpose of this article to re-examine the concept of white-collar crime, to consider its legal and sociological implications, and to analyze the controversy arising from its usage.
According to Sutherland's original definition, white-collar crime is "a violation of the criminal law by a person of the upper socioeconomic class in the course of his occupational activities." 1 To this he added the expla-____________________