This book argues that a theory of crime specific to the African American experience is justified by qualitative and quantitative data, not just because of the disproportionately higher percentage of African Americans (in the U.S. population) who are offenders, but also because of the vastly higher percentage of Black Americans who are non-offenders.
In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in many cities, race plays an ever more salient role in crime and justice. Within theoretical criminology, however, race has oddly remained on the periphery. It is often introduced as a control variable in tests of theories and is rarely incorporated as a central construct in mainstream paradigms (e.g., control, social learning, and strain theories). When race is discussed, the standard approach is to embrace the racial invariance thesis, which argues that any racial differences in crime are due to African Americans being exposed to the same criminogenic risk factors as are Whites, just more of them. An alternative perspective has emerged that seeks to identify the unique, racially specific conditions that only Blacks experience. Within the United States, these conditions are rooted in the historical racial oppression experienced by African Americans, whose contemporary legacy includes concentrated disadvantage in segregated communities, racial socialization by parents, experiences with and perceptions of racial discrimination, and disproportionate involvement in and unjust treatment by the criminal justice system. Importantly, racial invariance and race specificity are not mutually exclusive perspectives. Evidence exists that Blacks and Whites commit crimes for both the same reasons (invariance) and for different reasons (race-specific). A full understanding of race and crime thus must involve demarcating both the general and specific causes of crime, the latter embedded in what it means to be "Black" in the United States. This volume seeks to explore these theoretical issues in a depth and breadth that is not common under one cover. Again, given the salience of race and crime, this volume should be of interest to a wide range of criminologists and have the potential to be used in graduate seminars and upper-level undergraduate courses.
Ideal for use in either crime theory or race and crime courses, this is the only text to look at the array of explanations for crime as they relate to racial and ethnic populations. Each chapter begins with a historical review of each theoretical perspective and how its original formulation and more recent derivatives account for racial/ethnic differences. The theoretical perspectives include those based on religion, biology, social disorganization/strain, subculture, labeling, conflict, social control, colonial, and feminism. The author considers which perspectives have shown the most promise in the area of race/ethnicity and crime.
From W.E.B. Dubois through Lee Brown, this anthology provides a collection of the key articles in criminology and criminal justice written by black scholars. Available in a single volume for the first time, the articles collected in this book reflect the voices of African-American scholars and display the diversity of perspectives sought after in today's academic community. Crime in the African-American community is examined from social, economic and political perspectives, and the historical context of each article is provided by the editors. Spanning the 20th century, these works present a historical chronology of African-American views on crime and its control with theoretical perspectives that have often been tangential to mainstream scholarship.
Teaching about gender, race, social class and sexuality in criminal justice and criminology classrooms can be challenging. Professors may face resistance when they ask students to examine how gender impacts victimization, how race affects interactions with the police, how socioeconomic status shapes experiences in court or how sexuality influences treatment in the criminal justice system. Teaching Criminology at the Intersection is an instructional guide to support faculty as they navigate teaching these topics. Bringing together the experience and knowledge of expert scholars, this book provides time-strapped academics with an accessible how-to guide for the classroom, where the dynamics and discrimination of gender, race, class and sexuality demographics intersect and permeate criminal justice concerns. In the book, the authors of each chapter discuss how they teach a particular contemporary criminal justice issue and provide their suggestions for best practice, while grounding their ideas in pedagogical theory. Chapters end with a toolkit of recommended activities, assignments, films, readings or websites. As a teaching handbook, Teaching Criminology at the Intersection is appropriate reading for graduate level criminology, criminal justice and women’s and gender studies teaching instruction courses and as background reading and reference for instructors in these disciplines.
Racism and Criminology stimulates criminological debate on issues of crime, race, racism, and criminal justice and offers practical guidance to those seeking to address race issues and confront racism in their own work. This unique text critiques the existing,largely empirical, research on race and criminal justice. It then presents theoretical advances in criminology and sociology and the methodological implications of applying such theory to future research. After reviewing work on race and crime within the major criminological paradigms to date and the uses and limitations of such research for policy development, distinguished contributors go on to explore some central problems of method inherent to research on race. They discuss issues such as competing ethnic classification schemes, the definition of "racial," and ethnic data in criminal justice agency records. The theoretical contributions explore the development of antiracism, the relationship between race and wider sociologies of disadvantage, the "racialization" of the politics of crime, and the "criminalization" of the politics of race during the 1980s. Finally, they examine one of the key problems for the 1990s: the development of discourses and control strategies, which exclude black people from enjoyment of full citizenship rights. This book will be invaluable in helping students and researchers make informed theoretical choices and evaluate the various theoretical perspectives. It will encourage engagement with race issues by open discussion of the methodological dilemmas which are usually left unspoken. As such, it is essential reading for all those who wish to understand and confront racism in state systems of control and regulation.
Race and Crime: A Text Reader includes a collection of recent articles on race and crime published in a number of leading criminal justice journals, along with original textual material that serves to explain and unify the readings. Through discussion of selected articles, numerous topics are explored, including the historical, social, economic and political contexts of race and crime, such as class, gender, comparative perspectives, justice issues, theories and statistics.
This work discusses assumptions and myths about race, challenging criminal policy-makers to develop effective strategies for dealing with the social problems such misunderstanding creates. Myths about African-American involvment in the criminal justice system are also examined.
Why are some ethnic minorities associated with higher levels of offending? How can racist violence be explained? Are the police and criminal justice system racist? Are the reasons for offending and victimization among ethnic minorities different from those among ethnic majorities? Understanding Race and Crime provides a comprehensive and critical introduction to the debates and controversies about race, crime and criminal justice. While focusing on Britain and America, it also takes a broader international perspective, with case studies including the historical legacy of lynching in the United States and racist state crime in the Nazi and Rwandan genocides. The book provides a conceptual framework in which racism, race and crime might be better understood. It traces the historical origins of how thinking about crime came to be associated with racism and how fears and anxieties about race and crime become rooted in places destabilized by rapid social change. The book questions whether race and ethnicity alone are significant enough factors to explain differing offending and victimization patterns between ethnic groups. Issues examined include: Contact/conflict with the police Public disorder Involvement with the criminal justice system Understanding Race and Crime is essential reading for students from a range of social science disciplines and for a variety of crime-related courses. It is also useful to practitioners in the criminal justice field and those interested in understanding the issues behind debates on 'race' and crime.