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Communities, identities and crime$
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Basia Spalek

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348043

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348043.001.0001

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‘Race’, crime and criminal justice

‘Race’, crime and criminal justice

(p.130) (p.131) six ‘Race’, crime and criminal justice
Communities, identities and crime

Basia Spalek

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on ‘race’ and ethnicity in relation to crime and criminal justice. It looks at the difficulties involved when collecting data about ‘race’, arguing that this is a social construct influenced by historical, social and political contexts that attach particular labels to particular groups of individuals at particular points in time. It also examines other issues including institutional racism, racist victimisation, and knowledge claims arising from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities, and how these need to be legitimised when a scientific paradigm holds sway within policy-making circles. Moreover, this chapter explores how the application, and predominance, of a (social) scientific approach to ‘race’ is problematic when viewed from a perspective that actively engages with, and acknowledges, the harms caused under the guise of Enlightenment philosophy. Finally, it considers the issue of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Keywords:   race, ethnicity, crime, criminal justice, racism, victimisation, Enlightenment philosophy, racial discrimination, ethnic minorities, knowledge claims

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