Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Gary W. Potter

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


This work examines the ways in which language can contribute to a cultural climate in which white-collar crime is no longer considered "deviant," but rather is considered part of a normally functioning political economy. The 2012 money laundering case involving HSBC is examined in conjunction with the rhetoric of popular financial counselor Dave Ramsey. This research seeks to define how language involving the accumulation of capital is equated with virtuousness, thus constructing a myth about the criminality inherent to "legitimate" capital enterprises.