Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Fleming, T.


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.




Shoplifters and shoplifting is the focus of this thesis. Fourteen adult, female shoplifters in Windsor, Ontario and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia were interviewed over a period of three months in 1993. The motivations of these Canadian women were explored in an attempt to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, how and why. Previous research on shoplifters and shoplifting is limited and Canadian research especially, has consisted of few studies and government documents. It is argued that shoplifting is not only a crime of poverty, but one of control as well. Women shoplift for a variety of reasons, but they are generally pilferers, not professionals. That is, they do not sell the goods they steal and they usually shoplift alone. The criminal justice system's response to their crime is less than adequate. It does not deal with the offence in an effective manner. Thus, female criminality may be seen as a microcosm of the marginalization that women face within the larger society. A complete analysis of shoplifting is one which includes the general position of women within this social context, grounded in their experiences, not only of shoplifting, but of the criminal justice system as well. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2253. Adviser: Thomas Fleming. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.