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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Pages (from-to)1237
Number of pages1254
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Volume59
Issue number5
Early online date12 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Symbolic Survival and Harm: Serious Fraud and Consumer Capitalism's Perversion of the Causa Sui Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this