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NCJ Number: 134380 Find in a Library
Title: Cultural Literacy and a Multicultural Inquiry into the Study of Crime and Justice
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice Education  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:(Fall 1991)  Pages:173-192
Author(s): G Barak
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 20
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because increasing tension and antipathy between racial and ethnic groups are present in the emerging post melting pot era, the author argues that "cultural literacy" in criminology and criminal justice tends to reproduce itself and impede the development of scientific inquiry in the discipline.
Abstract: This is the case because cultural literacy cannot form constructs of crime and justice that are abstract enough to transcend the traditional definitions of crime and the administration of crime control. A preliminary African-American literacy is introduced as a potential multicultural literacy capable of reshaping and advancing the study of crime and justice. The African-American perspectives provide data, insight, and vitality for the criminological endeavor and introduce alternative frameworks for evaluating, extending, or dismissing current policies and practices in social control and crime prevention. In the study of minorities and criminal justice, for example, some people argue that the increase of racial and ethnic groups or women in criminal justice administration, and hence the infusion of greater sensitivity to race and gender issues in criminal justice bureaucracies, may result in equal justice. Others believe that the changing dynamics of racial, ethnic, and gender representation in the criminal justice system will have no significant impact on the system's administration. Nonetheless, the collective influence of multiculturalism may offer the possibility of transforming the system of crime and justice from a punitive one to a slowly contracting system of penal justice and discipline, based on societal commitment to the preservation of racial and sexual identities and to economic and social justice for all. 90 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Cross-cultural theories
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Criminology theory evaluation; Cultural influences
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