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Studies of the criminal career to date have focused on common criminals and street crime; criminologists have overlooked the careers of white-collar offenders. David Weisburd and Elin Waring offer here the first detailed examination of the criminal careers of people convicted of white-collar crimes. Weisburd and Waring uncover some surprising findings, which upset common wisdom about white-collar criminals. Many scholars have assumed that white-collar criminals are unlikely to have multiple or long records or repeat offenses. As the authors demonstrate, a significant number of white-collar criminals have numerous brushes with the law and their careers show marked similarities to the circumstances and life patterns of street criminals. Their findings illustrate the misplaced emphasis of previous scholarship in focusing on the categorical distinctions between criminals and non-criminals. Rather, their data suggest the importance of the immediate context of crime and its role in leading otherwise conventional people to violate the law.

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