The Many Colors of Crime

Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America

430 pages

August, 2006

ISBN: 9780814767207



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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.

All books by Ruth D. Peterson

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

All books by Lauren J. Krivo

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.

All books by John Hagan

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.


  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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