Symbolic Survival and Harm: Serious Fraud and Consumer Capitalism’s Perversion of the Causa Sui Project

Tudor, Kate (2019) Symbolic Survival and Harm: Serious Fraud and Consumer Capitalism’s Perversion of the Causa Sui Project. British Journal of Criminology, 59 (5). pp. 1237-1253. ISSN 0007-0955

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azz009

Abstract

Based on empirical research carried out with those convicted of serious fraud, the current article explores the motivations behind engagement in acquisitive criminality. Drawing on the work of Ernest Becker, the article seeks to transcend superficial explanations of fraud which draw on notions of greed and individual pathology, locating causation instead at the level of consumer capitalism’s perversion of the contemporary causa sui project through its stimulation of deep human existential anxieties. It will be suggested that the acts of economic predation perpetrated by the men in the study represent attempts to escape anxiety through the avoidance of symbolic annihilation and that they are illustrative of the way in which the contemporary capitalism generates harm.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: fraud, acquisitive criminality, neoliberalism, consumer culture, criminal identities, harm
Subjects: L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 09:33
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:19
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40628

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