Multicultural Perspectives in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Third Edition

By Homant, Robert J. | Corrections Today, August-September 2012 | Go to article overview

Multicultural Perspectives in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Third Edition


Homant, Robert J., Corrections Today


Multicultural Perspectives in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Third Edition, by James E. Hendricks, Bryan Byers and Kiesha Warren-Gordon, Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd., 2011, 228 pp.

Multicultural Perspectives in Criminal Justice and Criminology was originally published in 1994. It was revised and updated for its second edition in 2001. The third edition has been greatly slimmed down from the second (to about half its original length). This has been achieved by deleting seven complete chapters and sections of others; actual revisions are limited to scattered statistical updates. Except for deletions, the third edition reads mostly word for word as it did in 2001.

The current book, intended especially for classroom use, has an introductory chapter on multiculturalism, followed by specific chapters on race and gender (covering topics involving African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, gays and hate crimes). Second edition chapters covering feminism, juveniles, the state of college curricula in multiculturalism, sensitivity training and an epilogue have been completely omitted; the existing chapters are slimmed down with the race chapter, for example, losing more than one-third of its content.

Multiculturalism is described as an appreciation of the diverse cultural influences that make up the American fabric. It specifically embraces the "salad bowl" metaphor over the "melting pot" analogy. That is, the goal of creating a more or less homogenous culture is rejected and there is a clear preference for retaining subcultural identities. The bulk of the chapters explore these identities and how they have affected the interaction of each culture or subgroup with the criminal justice system, whether as victims, criminals or actors within the system (e.g., what it is like to come out as a gay police officer). Perhaps dictated by the characteristics of the group studied, some chapters (especially those concerning race and homosexuality) seem to deal with more general concerns such as pretext stops and racial profiling, while others offer a catalogue of subcultural differences that exist within the group (such as a catalogue of all of the ethnicities that make up Asian American and Latino populations).

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