Sociology Index -

Blue Collar Crime

Organized Crime, White-Collar Crime, Pink-collar Crime, Corporate Crime, Organizational Crime

Blue-collar crime is any crime committed by an individual from a lower social class as opposed to white-collar crime which is associated with crime committed by individuals of a higher social class.

There may be more white collar crime than blue collar crime. Those employed in relatively unskilled environments and living in inner-city areas have fewer "situations" to exploit.

Blue-collar crime tends to be more obvious and attract more active police attention such as for crimes such as vandalism or shoplifting which protect property interests, whereas white-collar employees can intermingle legitimate and criminal behavior and be less obvious when committing the crime.

Blue-collar crime will more often use physical force whereas in the corporate world, the identification of a victim is less obvious and the issue of reporting is complicated by a culture of commercial confidentiality to protect shareholder value.

Blue collar crime also refers to police slang for an arrest of a suspect, or collar.

Blue collar crimes are those that involve local police known for wearing blue and white collar crimes are those involving Federal agents, such as FBI who typically wear suits and ties with white shirts.

The blue-collar worker in the United States is an embodiment of the American work ethic and the dignity of labor. A member of the working class blue-collar worker performs manual labor and earns an hourly wage. Blue-collar workers are distinguished from those in the service sector and from white-collar workers. Some blue-collar jobs, such as those of janitors and unskilled laborers, may carry negative stereotypes from perceptions that they represent minimal ability.

Blue-collar work may be skilled or unskilled, and may involve manufacturing, mining, building and construction trades. Blue-collar is derived from 19th century uniform dress codes of industrial workplaces. Blue-collar can also be used as an adjective to describe the environment of the blue-collar worker: for example, a blue-collar neighborhood.

According to the sourcebook of criminal justice, 10,700 persons were charged with embezzlement in the United States in 2002. A review of the literature reveals that more is known about blue-collar crimes like burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft than white-collar crime, even though the latter may have a much greater economic impact on society.