chapter  4
28 Pages

Sutherland among others: his contemporaries and competitors

ByDavid Friedrichs, Isabel Schoultz, Aleksandra Jordanoska

This chapter provides a foundation for examining the life and legacy of Edwin H. Sutherland as a key thinker and iconic figure in criminology. It addresses Sutherland in relation to other criminologists and sociologists—Willem Bonger, Thorstein Veblen, C. Wright Mills, Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck, and Robert K. Merton—whose lives and careers overlapped with his, and whose work addressed some of the same issues or concerns, although from quite different vantage points. It concludes with some observations on Sutherland's own views on the capitalist political economy. The chapter reviews John Laub and Robert Sampson's arguments on why this occurred, and their further argument that the Gluecks' multifactor approach has ultimately proven more valid and enduring than Sutherland's purely sociological approach to understanding crime. The kind of financial support that the Sheldon Gluecks depended upon for their longitudinal studies would presumably not have been available to explore war criminals and crimes of states.