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Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter considers some of the influences that shape public perceptions, with particular attention to the impact of media. It then looks at some of the most problematic misconceptions about crime. The chapter illustrates the limitations of public conceptions with two brief case studies which outline specific areas of criminal activity that are not popularly perceived as criminal, namely, ‘white-collar crime’ and ‘corporate crime’.


Michael Levi and Nicholas Lord

This chapter presents a succinct overview of key debates and ideas associated with theory, research, and practice in the area of white-collar and corporate crimes. First, it considers white-collar and corporate crimes in the twenty-first century, contextualizing these phenomena and reinforcing their criminological significance. Second, it revisits on-going conceptual debates, identifying central analytical features of white-collar and corporate crimes before going on to argue in favour of shifting attention towards understanding how white-collar crimes are organized and the conditions that shape this over time. Third, it reviews ways of explaining these behaviours, ranging from consideration of individual propensities and rationality through organizational context and culture to wider social conditions. Fourth, it examines current policing and regulation strategies, concluding with a discussion of key themes in white-collar crime research and scholarship.