[Together with Andrew Bushnell this article originally appeared in IPA Review]

‘White collar crime’ didn’t exist until 1940. That was the year American sociologist Edwin Sutherland dreamt up the idea that the ‘suave and deceptive’ upper reaches of society, insulated by their class privilege, were getting away with untold criminality, and so he set out to draw attention to their offending. The link between crime and white collars was expressly designed to stigmatise the wealthy and the professional classes and raise the class consciousness of workers, whose own criminality was relatively overstated and over-punished. Continue reading