skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 204362 Find in a Library
Title: Missing Faces: Is Historical Institutionalism the Answer for Conducting Intersectional Research?
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:2004  Pages:81-98
Author(s): Lori Beth Way
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 18
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines intersectional perspectives for the study of female offenders and suggests that the specific empirical method of historical institutionalism would benefit intersectional researchers.
Abstract: According to an intersectional perspective, the combination of race, class, and gender serve to create a more complex reality than any one characteristic on its own. While feminist scholars have shown that female offenders have unique criminal justice needs, the author charges that criminologists and other social scientists have only partially acknowledged that female offenders have unique needs and most fail to note that different women hold different relational positions to criminal justice officials. The tensions in criminology created by issues of gender are reviewed as the author explores calls for intersectional research concerning women offenders. The central tenet of the intersectional perspective is the importance of attending to the relational positions of people and how those positions are in flux depending upon the changing axis of power in any given context. Thus, an intersectional perspective accounts for not only how ideologies impact social phenomenon, but also how political and economic arrangements influence social patterns. The research method of historical institutionalism uses an intersectional perspective to discern the necessary conditions for an event or situation to occur. The author outlines possible research designs that would utilize a historical institutional method to discover how the intersections of race, gender, and class converge to create unique situations for female offenders. This type of approach to the study of female lawbreakers has the potential to lead to progressive changes in criminal justice practice because it reaches beyond a comparison of male and female crimes in order to document the sexism, racism, and classism in the criminal justice system. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system analysis; Female offenders
Index Term(s): Class discrimination; Gender issues; Racial discrimination; Research design models; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.