The seductions of cybercrime: Adolescence and the thrills of digital transgression

Andrew Goldsmith, David S. Wall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    This article offers a socio-technical framework for better understanding youthful attraction to, and engagement in, online transgressions and delinquencies. Specifically, it takes the concept of ‘seduction’ from the work of Katz, as well as ‘affordance theory’ and insights from software and human–computer interaction studies, to analyse the affordances of the Internet that tempt and invite youthful transgressions such as digital piracy, viewing illegal pornography and hacking. We argue that Internet affordances not only enable transgressions to occur but can also precipitate them. The implications for youth crime policy are briefly addressed. Policy needs to reckon with the power of these factors in adolescent lives and thus minimize reliance on punitive responses. The article also contributes to the development of the concept of digital drift, by showing how Internet features and affordances foster drift into cyber delinquency.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)98-117
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


    • Affordance
    • cybercrime
    • digital drift
    • Katz
    • seduction


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