Kriminologiska institutionens avhandlingsserie nr. 28, 2009.

Abstract: This dissertation, based on two studies, examines the significance of formal control, i.e. the actors and agencies whose formal task involves the use of a range of measures to exercise control within the road haulage industry. First and foremost it examines the question of why formal control has low legitimacy among the groups of individuals who work in and around the haulage sector from the point of view of an occupational perspective. The dissertation proposes five possible interpretations in answer to the question of why formal control is ascribed low legitimacy. First, as an obstacle in a practical reality. This was a recurrent view, and reflects a perception that the haulage industry is subject to a particularly high level of governmental measures and interventions. Second, as impositions on a socially and economically disadvantaged group. Long working days, poor finances and difficult conditions were all a part of life at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and probably also led to a great deal of frustration among those working in the industry. Third, as a threat to an occupational ideal. It emerged in the analysis of the data that the hauliers’ and drivers’ occupational identity, together with an occupational ideal of how a haulier and driver should be, were in part constructed in relation to the formal control of the haulage industry. The fourth perspective is related to an occupational ideal and focuses on collisions between masculine hegemonies. The male dominance in both data sets raised the issue of the significance of the relationship between certain occupational hegemonies and other types of hegemony. And finally, the low legitimacy is discussed in relation to its criminogenic effects. Focus in this discussion is on the question of whether formal control creates a propensity to commit crime, something which the interview subjects’ answers indicates may be the case. In summary, the low legitimacy of formal control can be linked to the foundations on which this control rests, the way it is formulated, and its consequences. On one level, the issue is one of formal control producing a risk for negative consequences for those working in the industry when it is put into action in the everyday occupational life of the haulage industry. The danger with this might be that the effect of the regulations is lessened and they lead to an increase in the distance between the “state” and the “individual”. Perceptions of distance and a lack of understanding between powerful actors and those active in the industry may also involve a risk of producing criminogenic forces.