Cressey, Donald (1919–1987)

DONALD CRESSEY is perhaps known most for his seminal work on organized crime, Theft of the Nation: Structure and Operation of Organized Crime in America (1969), based on his consultancy to the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice during 1966–67. His best-known work in white-collar crime was Other People's Money: A Study in the Social Psychology of Embezzlement (1953), which, as a dissertation under Edwin Sutherland at Indiana University, tested Sutherland's hypothesis that differential association was a viable explanation for white-collar crime.

Cressey's embezzlement study was based on 133 federally convicted “financial trust violators,” finding that they could not be called “white-collar criminals” according to Sutherland's definitional criterion of respectability, and that differential association was not a meaningful explanation of embezzlers' involvement in ...

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