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ERIC Number: ED120278
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Aug
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Race and Criminal Deviance: A Study of Youthful Offenders.
Harris, Anthony R.; Lewis, Michael
In order to examine empirically the impact of race on aspects of the nature and etiology of criminal deviance, questionnaires were administered to 234 predominantly lower class black and white inmates in a prison for youthful offenders. The data thus provided indicated that the different experiences associated with race in contemporary America provide a major cutting-edge in the expectations and self-perceptions of these youths. While both blacks and whites interviewed show similar criminal histories, increasing levels of criminal income and of the expected value of criminal choice are associated with increases in self-esteem and self-stability for blacks, but with decreases in esteem and stability for whites. In corollary fashion, while both races sampled appear to define themselves as more "criminal" than "straight", increasing criminal identification is associated with marked decreases in self-esteem and stability for whites, but only marginal decreases for blacks. Such differences do not appear attributable to the potentially confounding influence of socioeconomic status, but, on the contrary, suggest that racial experience has been badly neglected as a factor in the process and perception of becoming criminally deviant. Race-specific etiological scenarios consonant with the present data are offered for consideration in future research. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (San Francisco, California, August 1974)