Digital Drift and the Criminal Interaction Order

Andrew Goldsmith, Russell Brewer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite growing interest in cybercrime, the Internet still poses significant challenges for criminological understanding. Its penetration of everyday life is relevant to many crime types, not just cybercrimes. This article examines the ways in which criminal commitments form using the Internet and related communication technologies that empower the individual relative to the group (gang, mafia, etc.). We argue this occurs in two ways. First, it allows individuals to limit involvement in particular associations or networks. The concept of digital drift is used to explore this element. Second, it allows them to commit crimes more autonomously through facilitating self-instruction. Drawing on Goffman, the importance of studying the encounter as the basic unit of a criminal interaction order is proposed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-130
    Number of pages19
    JournalTheoretical Criminology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


    • Criminal interaction order
    • digital drift
    • encounter
    • Goffman
    • Internet
    • Matza


    Dive into the research topics of 'Digital Drift and the Criminal Interaction Order'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this