The Fence: In the Shadow of Two Worlds

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9780847674947: The Fence: In the Shadow of Two Worlds
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This book is based on the experiences of a dealer in stolen goods (alias 'Sam Goodman'), whose history serves as a model for understanding the role that fences play in today's society. In his straightforward and colorful analysis of underground life, Steffensmeier analyzes how a fence initiates and sustains relationships with thieves, customers, and other fences, how he sets and negotiates prices, the profits he enjoys, the skills required for his job, and the meaning and rewards of fencing. The author relates the circumstances leading to Sam's 'fall'--his eventual arrest and conviction for receiving stolen property. His field interviews are supplemented with court records and newspaper accounts, interviews of thieves and customers who had contact with Sam, several other fences, and law enforcement officials. In addition to documenting the lifestyle of a fascinating criminal life, the author shows how crime is intricately woven into the fabric of society, in which thieves and fences share many similarities in skills and behavior with those of legitimate businessmen. Sociologists, criminologists, law enforcement officers, and public policy makers will find this book an enlightening and engaging portrayal of the criminal career.

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About the Author:

Darrell J. Steffensmeier is professor of sociology at the Pennsylvania State University.

Review:

A model for case study research and a significant contribution to criminological knowledge about a major criminal role. (Klockars, Carl B.)

This book is a valuable addition to the relatively small storehouse of firsthand reports that tell us in detail what criminals do in the way of criminal and non-criminal behavior. (Don Gibbons)

This study is broader and deeper than other case studies of individual 'criminals'...Steffensmeier has written an excellent analysis of several criminal worlds. (Criminal Justice Policy Review)

The reader emerges with a vivid and thorough understanding of the life and role of a fence in contemporary America. (Choice)

The author dispels a number of stereotypes about fences and their interactions with thieves....the book is both interesting and enlightening. It does fill a void in the study of criminal careers.... (Criminal Justice Review)

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9780847674954: The Fence

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ISBN 10:  0847674959 ISBN 13:  9780847674954
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1986
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