MBAs v felons

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Tue Feb 9 10:23:02 PST 1999

Actually the findings of the study by Stearns & Borna should not be a great surprise. There has long existed a body of theory within criminology and the sociology of deviance going back to the Marxist criminologist, David Bonger, and sociologist, Robert Merton, which emphasizes the degree to which those people labeled criminals in our society share the same values and goals as so-called law-abiding people. The difference between the two groups lies not so much in their values and goals as in the means available to them for realizing them. Poorer people are more likely to engage in activities that have been labeled criminal by the powers that be because of a lack of "legitimate" alternatives available to them. In fact of course, people such as MBAs and other priveleged folk often engage in considerable lawbreaking themselves but they are ususally in a better position to avoid getting caught and prosecuted.

Jim Farmelant

On Tue, 09 Feb 1999 09:30:38 -0800 Sam Pawlett <epawlett at> writes:
>Interesting. In my experience as an undergrad in economics, I found
>as students learned neo-classical economics their own personal
>came to resemble the behaviour ascribed to people in NC economic
>models. If everyone studied academic economics the world would
>a neo-classical economic model. A kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
>Economics majors in the pub could be overheard saying things like "Hey
>man, I'm not risk-averse! Lets go let the air out of that guy's
>I think Doug Henwood mentioned as article on the relationship between
>econ students and selfishness in one of his LBO's.
>Sam Pawlett

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