Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Major Professor

Stephanie Bohon

Committee Members

Lois Presser, Ben Feldmeyer

Abstract

Criminological research has long been concerned with how stereotypes of offender race and gender affect perceived culpability and policy formation. Using data collected from a college student population that were administered six vignettes written in the form of police blotters that depicted different crimes being committed by offenders with differing educational characteristics, this study seeks to identify whether or not an offender’s educational characteristics affect their perceived culpability. Although the data indicates that offender’s are seen as culpable regardless of their educational characteristics, it is evident that some degree or sociopathy is assessed to offender’s that are seen as educated and commit both White Collar and Street crimes.

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