Crime of the Powerful: A Theoretical Review

  • Phaustine Maina Wangechi Kirinyaga University
  • Peter Ndung’u, PhD Kirinyaga University
Keywords: Crimes, Deviance Acts, Powerful, Less Powerful, Criminology Theories
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In the past few decades, the frequency of reports on crimes committed by the powerful class of the society has been on the rampant. It is said that one is above the law, however, a review if crimes by the rich and powerful members of the society depict a perturbing trend of them either being under punished it getting free with their crimes. Most of the dire deviance acts are consensus crimes that are based on the assumptions that society is founded on shared. The consensus perspective assumes that the majority of the community agree on what action should be considered wrong or right, hence people not only adhere to laws due to fear of violating the rules but because of the internalized and inherent societal values and norm perceived as appropriate by the society. Nonetheless, the consensus view is challenged by a conflict perspective that states that crimes are subject to the different social groups based on their societal laws, norms, and differing interests hence a conflict.  Based on this perspective, It is argued that the high rate of crime in societies with inequalities is attributed to the tendency of the disadvantaged groups committing more crimes compared to the affluent group. Therefore, this paper argues that most criminology and criminological theories have significantly focused on the petty but many wrongdoings of the marginalized or relatively powerless individuals of the society instead of directing more attention to the harms and wrongdoings of the powerful.


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14 November, 2019
How to Cite
Wangechi, P., & Ndung’u, P. (2019). Crime of the Powerful: A Theoretical Review. East African Journal of Law and Ethics, 1(2), 35-42. Retrieved from