After watching the documentary and reading the article, answer the following questions:
For the following questions, please provide one full paragraph (6-8 sentences) for each question:
Based on the information presented in the PBS documentary and the TIME article, describe how the behaviors of corporations, including Ford, Firestone, and the financial institutions on Wall Street, could be understood as crimes whether or not they have been prosecuted? How do these activities differ from those involved in “typical” street crimes?
As shown in the documentary, Senator Kaufman – who spearheaded the Senate’s investigation of Wall Street – was appointed to the office and thus did not receive campaign donations. How might this have influenced his ability to investigate financial crimes? How does this differ from other elected officials?
How does the social reaction to harms caused by “white collar crime” (i.e., from the criminal justice system, the media, and the public) differ from the social reaction to “street crime”?
How do American cultural values (e.g., the American Dream) contribute to the perpetration of white-collar crime? How might these behaviors actually go against American values? Is there a theory in criminology that can be useful in explaining white-collar crime? How has cultural tolerance for white-collar crime changed in the last 10 years since the events described in the two sources?
How have you been affected by white-collar crime? How have these experiences shaped your perception of white-collar crime? In the incredible case that you have not been affected by white-collar crime, describe how white-collar crime has affected a friend or distant family member. If not, describe how white-collar crime can affect society as a whole.
Find a historical account of another white-collar crime using a reputable source for journalism. For example the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Mother Jones, or the Atlantic. Describe the event and the evidence presented in the article. Was there evidence that a social harm was committed? Please explain.
NOTE on question 6: In prior courses, students have often used sources including fbi.gov, doj.gov, nbcnews.com, Business Insider, Investopedia, or Wikipedia. These are NOT reputable sources for journalism. If you are unsure, email me to see if your source is acceptable.
Compare and contrast the white-collar crimes presented in the PBS documentary and the TIME article with your article. What do all three crimes have in common? How are they different? Based on the evidence presented in all three sources, which white-collar crime caused the greatest social harm?