Confessions of a Dying Thief Understanding Criminal Careers and Illegal Enterprise

ISBN-10: 0202307611
ISBN-13: 9780202307619
Edition: 2004
List price: $35.95 Buy it from $12.69
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Description: Sam Goodman, was a long-time thief, fence, and quasilegitimate businessman. He had a criminal career that spanned fifty years, beginning in his mid-teens and ending with his death when he was in his mid-sixties. Confessions of a Dying Thief is an  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Aldine Transaction
Publication date: 4/15/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 401
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Sam Goodman, was a long-time thief, fence, and quasilegitimate businessman. He had a criminal career that spanned fifty years, beginning in his mid-teens and ending with his death when he was in his mid-sixties. Confessions of a Dying Thief is an in-depth ethnographic study of Sam and his world based on continuous contact with him for many years, on multiple interviews with his network of associates in crime and business, and on a series of interviews with him shortly before he died. The book updates and greatly expands the case study of Sam Goodman's fencing activity found in Steffensmeier's award-winning 1986 book The Fence: In the Shadow of Two Worlds. The book combines Sam's colorful narrative accounts with substantive commentary by the authors to provide a more nuanced portrayal of criminal careers, illegal enterprise, and the broad landscape comprising the entity called "crime." To more fully understand pathways into and out of crime as well as the social organization of illegal enterprise, the authors propose an integrative learning-opportunity-commitment framework that combines differential association/social learning theory and an extended conceptualization of criminal opportunity with a three-fold theory of commitment to crime. This framework offers an integrated and more complete way of understanding mechanisms that underlie criminal offending and criminal careers. It also recognizes the complexity and scope of the criminal landscape and its embeddedness in the fabric of the larger society, including its criminal justice system. Sam's illness and death are a sobering backdrop throughout the whole book. However, Confessions is not just a dying thief's intimate confessions.Rather, it is a rare and penetrating journey into the dynamics of criminal careers and the social organization of criminal enterprise, as experienced by a veteran thief and fence and his network of key associates.

First Author's Prologue
Acknowledgments
Introducing Confessions
Confessions' Data and Contributions
Sam Goodman: Homecoming and Farewell
Sam's Life Unfolds: Chronology and Turning Points
Conceptual Themes and Tools
Sam's Narrative: Onset of Sam's Criminal Career
Commentary: Doing Burglary
Sam's Narrative: Sam's Burglary Career Escalates
Commentary: Trading in Stolen Goods
Sam's Narrative: Running a Fencing Business
Commentary: Criminal Capital for Illegal Enterprise
Sam's Narrative: Skills, Character, and Connections
Commentary: "Moonlighting" Phase of Sam's Criminal Career: Shifting Commitments to Crime versus Legitimacy
Sam's Narrative: Continuity or Desistance After Sam's "Last Fall"?
Crime Pathways and Organization
Commentary: Social Organization of the Underworld: Stratification, Continuity, and Change
Sam's Narrative: Social Organization of Theft and Criminal Enterprise
Commentary: Organized Crime and Racketeering
Sam's Narrative: Racketeering, Organized Crime, and the Mafia
Commentary: Ebbs and Flows of Criminal Careers
Sam's Narrative: Pathways Into and Out of Crime
Sam Takes Stock: Dealing with Dying
Commentary: Rewards and Rationales of Crime, and Images of Criminals
Final Confessions: Sam Takes Stock
Epilogue
References
Index

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