Living Off Crime describes highly active property offenders who commit themselves to careers in serious property crimes such as burglary and armed robbery. This book takes the unique approach of situating these criminal careers within the fundamental sociological concepts of social class, criminal subcultures, and consciousness. Tunnell brings class back into the dialogue of property crime among the highly criminally active and economically marginalized, and gives considerable treatment to the subcultural values of this group. Repetitive property offenders also demonstrate a particular consciousness, which is used as an organizing motif throughout the book. Their consciousness indicates little of class commitment or anti-systemic recognition and strategy, but rather is described as street-centered, hedonistic anarchy as indicated by their disparate crimes against lower- and working-class individuals. The book does not ignore the politics of their behaviors; rather it describes their actions as political yet absent politicized class-based consciousness and strategies.
Kenneth D. Tunnell is professor of criminology at Eastern Kentucky University. His previous books include Choosing Crime (Nelson-Hall, 1992), Political Crime in Contemporary America (Garland, 1994) and Pissing on Demand: Workplace Drug Testing and the Rise of the Detox Industry (New York University Press, 2004). His articles have appeared in journals such as Justice Quarterly, Deviant Behavior, Qualitative Sociology, and Journal of Popular Culture.
Chapter 1 Crime and Criminals Chapter 2 Social Class and Property Crime Chapter 3 Culture and Property Crime Chapter 4 Consciousness and Property Crime Chapter 5 Victims and Victimization Chapter 6 Explaining Repetitive Property Crime