The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

Synopsis

In this authoritative volume, race and ethnicity are themselves considered as central organizing principles in why, how, where and by whom crimes are committed and enforced. The contributors argue that dimensions of race and ethnicity condition the very laws that make certain behaviors criminal, the perception of crime and those who are criminalized, the determination of who becomes a victim of crime under which circumstances, the responses to laws and crime that make some more likely to be defined as criminal, and the ways that individuals and communities are positioned and empowered to respond to crime.

Contributors: Eric Baumer, Lydia Bean, Robert D. Crutchfield, Stacy De Coster, Kevin Drakulich, Jeffrey Fagan, John Hagan, Karen Heimer, Jan Holland, Diana Karafin, Lauren J. Krivo, Charis E. Kubrin, Gary LaFree, Toya Z. Like, Ramiro Martinez, Jr., Ross L. Matsueda, Jody Miller, Amie L. Nielsen, Robert O'Brien, Ruth D. Peterson, Alex R. Piquero, Doris Marie Provine, Nancy Rodriguez, Wenona Rymond-Richmond, Robert J. Sampson, Carla Shedd, Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Avelardo Valdez, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Mar a B. V lez, Geoff K. Ward, Valerie West, Vernetta Young, Marjorie S. Zatz.

Excerpt

Ruth D. Peterson, Lauren J. Krivo, and John Hagan

This book broadens and deepens our understanding of the way race, ethnicity, and crime are interrelated. It grew from discussions by a small working group who came together because of dissatisfaction with the way race and ethnicity are approached in criminological research. These constructs typically are treated as distinguishing features of the demographic distribution of crime while shaping its popular imagery. Much existing work focuses on etiological questions such as whether social disorganization, differential association, or strain apply in the same way to people and populations of different colors. Race and ethnicity are infrequently given serious consideration as structural influences creating criminogenic conditions; the responses of actors, groups, and institutions; and the consequences that flow from these. That is, current work often fails to consider how race and ethnicity are themselves central organizing principles within and across societies. Indeed, these dimensions of stratification condition the very laws that make certain behaviors criminal, the perception of crime and those who are criminalized, the distribution of criminogenic conditions and processes, the determination of who becomes a victim of crime under which circumstances, the responses to laws and crime that make some more likely to be defined as criminal, and the way individuals and communities are positioned and empowered to respond to crime. We believe that a fuller understanding of the inequitable sources and consequences of crime and violence can only come when race and ethnicity are taken seriously as organizing principles that explicitly and thoroughly permeate theoretical discussions and empirical analyses.

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