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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127216 Find in a Library
Title: Women, Crime and Poverty
Author(s): P Carlen
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 189
Sponsoring Agency: Open University Press
Bristol, PA 19007
Publication Number: ISBN 0-355-15870-6
Sale Source: Open University Press
1900 Frost Road
Suite 101
Bristol, PA 19007
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Based on the oral histories of 39 women's criminal careers in Great Britain, this book provides an ethnographic analysis of their law-breaking and the official response to it.
Abstract: The ethnographic analysis is informed by control theory, which posits that people are more likely to comply with the law when they perceive they have a vested interest in so doing. The book argues that a drift into crime, accompanied by the concomitant rewards of friendship, financial gain, and excitement can provide the alternative "controls" that gradually commit the woman law-breaker to a lifestyle more satisfying than that offered by conventional labor and marriage markets as well as welfare payments. Based on this theoretical concept, this analysis focuses on the particular combinations of circumstances at specific points in their criminal careers when the 39 women felt they had nothing to lose and perhaps something to gain from criminal activity. Once these women had broken the law (in some cases even before this), the inequalities stemming from class, gender, and in some cases race combined to criminalize their social identities. Subsequent institutionalization, outlawing (as far as employment was concerned), and ensuing commitment to a deviant lifestyle ensured that the women progressed further in their criminal careers as their options for a rewarding law-abiding life diminished. Chapter notes, appended supplementary data, 162 references, and name and subject indexes
Main Term(s): Female offenders; Poverty and crime
Index Term(s): Female sex roles; Sex discrimination; United Kingdom (UK)
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