White Collar Crime and Society

"White Collar Crime and Society" will explore the phenomenon of corporate crime and its enforcement from a perspective primarily outside of legal doctrine. We will examine attitudes toward major white collar offenses, with the objective of understanding how the public and legal, political, and business institutions respond to such wrongdoing. Readings will include historical, sociological, criminological, and theoretical materials from academic study of white collar crime; academic and journalistic work on recent
corporate scandals, particularly the financial crisis of 2008; case materials from recent white collar prosecutions; and materials reflecting media treatment of white collar crime, including in documentary film. The objective will be to adopt a sociological point of view in order to better understand how to approach the criminal law's fundamental problem in the white collar field: distinguishing between behaviors deserving criminal punishment, particularly imprisonment, and those that are deserving of only civil sanction or are unobjectionable. Students will be required to write a total of five response papers of approximately six pages each over the course of the semester, for a total of approximately 30 pages of writing.
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