Type of Document Dissertation Author McEntire, Ranee URN etd-07042007-135230 Title Race, Ethnicity, Threat, and Punitive Attitudes Toward Criminals Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ted Chiricos Committee Chair Gary Kleck Committee Member Irene Padavic Committee Member Keywords
- Race And Ethnicity
- Punitive Attitudes
- Racial Threat
- Social Threat
Date of Defense 2007-05-25 Availability unrestricted AbstractPunitive measures taken by the United States criminal justice and juvenile justice systems have expanded over the past thirty years. With punitive policies and practices in place, many Americans continue to express strong support for the harsh treatment of adult and juvenile offenders.
There also exists in this country a racialized image of crime. That is, popular and media discourse on crime and punishment commonly connects race and ethnicity with the threat of crime. The equation of race/ethnicity and criminal threat is so well established in American culture that some regard popular discourse about crime and punishment to be part of the rhetorical code of “modern racism.” It has been suggested that the increasingly punitive attitudes of Americans toward crime is related to this association of blacks and, more recently, Hispanics with criminality.
A similar sentiment underlies the social threat and racial threat approaches to the sociology of social control. According to social threat theory, as the size of the minority population grows, the dominant majority will feel threatened and will respond in ways to directly or indirectly reduce crime. Racial threat theory, as it has evolved, suggests that the relationship between race and punishment is conditioned by the racialization of crime, fear of crime, and the perceived crime threat of racial minorities.
The relationship between race-related threat and punitiveness is the focus of this dissertation. Specifically, this dissertation examines associations between race, racial and ethnic compositions of neighborhood, and fear of black and Hispanic men and teenagers and support for punitive measures to deal with adult criminals and juvenile offenders. The data are from a 1997 statewide sample of 2,250 Florida residents. Using OLS regression and controlling for fear of criminal victimization, racial prejudice, violent crime rates, and other factors related to punitiveness, results indicate the following key findings: white respondents are more punitive than black respondents. Whites who reside in neighborhoods with greater percentages of blacks are more punitive toward juvenile offenders. Whites who are more fearful of black and Hispanic men are more punitive. Whites who are more fearful of black, Hispanic, and white teenagers are more punitive. Punitive sentiments in response to racial and ethnic fears are shared by black and Hispanic respondents.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access RMcEntireDissertation.pdf 409.09 Kb 00:01:53 00:00:58 00:00:51 00:00:25 00:00:02