Law-abiding majority? The everyday crimes of the middle classes

Professor Susanne Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall
Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Professor Susanne Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall put forward a thoughtful and challenging contribution to the debate about ‘crime’ and ‘criminality’ and role of the market. Whilst politicians have professed to be enacting criminal justice policies in a bid to protect the ‘law abiding majority’ the findings presented here question to what extent this majority is particularly ‘law-abiding’.

As the authors point out, ‘Consumers are sheep and wolves – easy prey and preying on others. Offending and victimisation are as closely and intricately linked at the core of society as at its margins.

’This identification of harmful behaviour taking place amongst ‘hard working families', the middle classes who do not appear in governmental crime rhetoric, suggests that a serious debate about the role and effectiveness of the criminal justice system is required.