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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153843 Find in a Library
Title: Masculinities and Crime: Critique and Reconceptualization of Theory
Author(s): J W Messerschmidt
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 253
Sponsoring Agency: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc
Lanham, MD 20706
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8476-7869-5
Sale Source: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book analyzes the social construction of gender and its link to criminality.
Abstract: In examining explanations for differences in the criminality of males and females, the author first examines the concepts of biological differences and differences in sex roles. He argues that these concepts obscure issues of social power and inequality between races, between classes, and between genders. The author therefore explores accounts of gender that do recognize issues of power and inequality. The analysis emphasizes that the social structure of gender incorporates different types of relationships between people, which can be sorted out into substructures: the gender division of labor, the structure of power, and the structure of sexuality. He uses the interplay between structure and action as it applies to class, race, and gender. Consistent with his concept of structured action, the author draws on the research that has shown gender as something constructed in social action. Masculinity is not something preformed or settled. It is something that has to be created, and criminal behavior is one of the means for its creation. A great deal of crime makes sense only when it is seen as a resource for the making of gender, and in most cases that means it is a strategy of masculinity. There are a variety of masculinities or ways of enacting masculine gender, and there is a wide range of settings in which this job is done: urban and rural communities, among working class and ruling class, among white men and black, and at workplaces and in the home. The second half of the book focuses on that range and variety of masculinities and their links to various types of crime. Chapter notes, 351 references, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Feminism; Gender issues; Juvenile delinquency factors; Male female offender comparisons
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