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

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

eral falls comparatively low in social and religious participation. The surprising thing here is that the Kentuckians have not been more completely demoralized as a persecuted minority-group. The explanation offered is that their in-group associations and partial economic and social success in the community accompanied by a low standard (not level) of living has given them enough integration to have a crime rate little different from the majority population.


CONCLUSIONS

The most obvious negative results are that minority groups are too differentiated to make any general statement about their criminality and that economic conditions and religious participation, taken alone, cannot be considered direct causal factors. Evidence available strongly suggests that cultural and social integration, sometimes influenced by economic conditions and persecution, are closely related to the magnitude of crime rates. Cultural integration is indicated by the degree to which the folkways of a group enable people to attain their culturally defined ends. As frustration increases, demoralization sets in and crime becomes one of the methods of adjustment. Social integration, or the interaction and interstimulation of individuals, tends to fortify the group's mores through the threat of ostracism. When this is weakened, crime is also more common. Thus, economically disadvantaged and persecuted alien groups can maintain low crime rates when they are socially and culturally integrated. As they migrate from their minority-group communities or assimilate the democratic ideology of the American culture such conditions tend to maximize these rates. Subjectively felt "culture conflict" is only significant after the minority-group has identified itself with the prevailing culture.


40. The Negro and Crime *

Guy B. Johnson

[ Professor Guy B. Johnson examines the many factors--accidental, historical, and social--that contribute to a high Negro crime

____________________
*
From The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 217 ( September, 1941), 98-104. Copyright 1941 by The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Reprinted by permission of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

-410-

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