The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America / Edition 1

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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, Maria B. Velez, Geoff K. Ward, Valerie West, Vernetta Young, Marjorie S. Zatz.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Shines a new, critical light on race, ethnicity, crime and justice. The text pushes us to consider how these terms are defined, what's missing from our conventional analyses and ultimately why and how race matters in discussions of justice.”
-Katheryn Russell-Brown,author of The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroaggressions

“The most comprehensive treatment to date of the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime. This collection will be valuable to practitioners and criminological theorists alike because it contains vast amounts of data on the topic, then orders and interprets these data with a strong socio-historical lens, enhanced by a comparative perspective.”
-Troy Duster,author of Backdoor to Eugenics

“With a distinguished cast of scholars, this book makes a major contribution to the field in its framing of a very complex social problem.”
-Simon I. Singer,author of Recriminalizing Delinquency: Violent Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice Reform

“With a dedicated focus on race and ethnicity, and through an examination of heretofore neglected groups (e.g., Haitian immigrants and rural blacks), the authors both broaden and deepen our understanding of the influence of race and ethnicity, often surprising us with their results. . . . The editors have assembled an impressive group of contributors who bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table and also remind us how time-tested constructs such as social disorganization, informal social control, and the culture of violence can be applied in ways that allow us to learn something new about race, ethnicity, and crime. . . . The Many Colors of Crime is an important book not only for criminologists but also for those with an interest in race and ethnicity generally.”

-American Journal of Sociology,

“The volume’s devotion to establishing comparative studies of racial and ethnic groups and to acknowledging regional and temporal variances yields productive insights into structural and social inequalities in the United States.”
-Journal of American Studies


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814767207
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Series: New Perspectives in Crime, Deviance, And
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 430
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth D. Peterson is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center at Ohio State University. She is co-editor of Crime and Inequality.

Lauren J. Krivo is Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center at Ohio State University.

John Hagan is John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University. He is the author of numerous books, including Northern Passage: The Lives of American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : inequalities of race, ethnicity, and crime in America 1
1 Cultural mechanisms and killing fields : a revised theory of community-level racial inequality 8
2 Conceptualizing race and ethnicity in studies of crime and criminal justice 39
3 Demythologizing the "criminalblackman" : the carnival mirror 54
4 Race and the justice workforce : toward a system perspective 67
5 Toward an understanding of the lower rates of homicide in Latino versus black neighborhoods : a look at Chicago 91
6 Extending ethnicity and violence research in a multiethnic city : Haitian, African American, and Latino nonlethal violence 108
7 Crime and deviance in the "black belt" : African American youth in rural and nonrural developmental contexts 122
8 Crime at the intersections : race, class, gender, and violent offending 138
9 Race, inequality, and gender violence : a contextual examination 157
10 Is the gap between black and white arrest rates narrowing? : national trends for personal contact crimes, 1960 to 2002 179
11 Race, labor markets, and neighborhood violence 199
12 Drug markets in minority communities : consequences for Mexican American youth gangs 221
13 Perceptions of crime and safety in racially and economically distinct neighborhoods 237
14 Neighborhood, race, and the economic consequences of incarceration in New York City, 1985-1996 256
15 Creating racial disadvantage : the case of crack cocaine 277
16 Transforming communities : formal and informal mechanisms of social control 295
17 Toward a developmental and comparative conflict theory of race, ethnicity, and perceptions of criminal injustice 313
18 Race and neighborhood codes of violence 334
Conclusion : a deeper understanding of race, ethnicity, crime, and criminal justice 357
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