‘Race’, crime and criminal justice

Basia Spalek

in Communities, identities and crime

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348043
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301899 | DOI:
‘Race’, crime and criminal justice

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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

Chapter.  13269 words. 

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