Date of Award

8-1998

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Many studies have been done concerning the seriousness of traditional street crime. There is a need in the field of criminology to expand our knowledge about how serious corporate crimes are. A key feature of seriousness is how researchers measure it. Using a survey, I analyzed people's perceptions of corporate crime. I had the respondents indicate the seriousness of the crime and harm by using a Likert Scale as well as identifying the appropriate sanction/sentence for the company convicted of the crime. This proved useful in attempting to identify how seriousness is measured by the sanctions/sentences imposed by the respondents. Utilizing this method, I found that respondents were more likely to give harsher, more punitive sanctions to those corporate crimes involving physical harm. It was also found that corporate crimes involving environmental harm were more serious than corporate crimes involving economic harm.

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