Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

vantage in a social democracy to have as many climbing systems as possible, in order to increase the number of positions at the top. The range of choice offered by a society in which a good many patterns of status achievement are provided, has seemed to be an important factor in the relatively easy adjustment of Armenians to life in the United States.


D.Minority Maladjustment

39.Minority-Group Criminality and Cultural Integration *

Arthur Lewis Wood

[Probably the major manifestation of minority group pathology is crime. The following article by Arthur Lewis Wood presents both facts and theories about minority-group crime.]

The existence of many cultural groups in the United States offers American criminology excellent opportunity for a sociological analysis of crime causation. Since these different peoples often live under the same legal jurisdiction, their crime rates can be made comparable for study. Our task here is to survey the evidence for variability in minority-group crime rates and to test certain hypotheses concerning their explanation.


CRIMINALITY OF MINORITY POPULATIONS

If social and cultural conditions are to be tested as explanations of variant criminality of social groups, comparability requires corrections for age and sex differences in population bases, and certainty that whatever rate differences exist cannot be accounted for by discrepancies in the apprehension of offenders. The first of these difficulties may be remedied by statistical calculations, and the second can be estimated only on the basis of known conditions of law enforcement agencies.

The first table gives some selected minority-group crime rates and their respective majority-group comparisons. They are corrected rates so far as the available data allow. The high rate for

____________________
*
From Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 37 ( March-April, 1947), 498-510. Copyright 1947 by Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Reprinted by permission of Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

-398-

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