Dr. Timothy Dickinson Publishes Article on Armed Robbery

Dr. Timothy Dickinson, coauthoring with Dr. Volkan Topalli and Dr. Richard Wright, published, “Armed Robbery and the Meanings of Money” in the British Journal of Sociology. In this study, the authors investigate the meanings active armed robbers give to money before, during, and after their crimes and how these meanings shape their offending. Dr. Dickinson and his coauthors do so by examining interviews undertaken from 1994 to 1995 with robbers in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Prior to their robberies, the interviewees’ desperation leads them to define money as essential to survival. Immediately following robberies and in looking back on them, they come to view this essential money in other ways as well—as too time-consuming to get, as “easy,” or as guilt-free. These meanings facilitate the contradictory way robbers see money as “fast” after offenses. The authors discuss how these shifting meanings of money shape and are shaped by robbers’ structural positions, cultural outlooks, and social relations. In doing so, we also help to explain how the shifting meanings of money play into criminogenic cycles of predatory offending.