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NCJ Number: 98969 Find in a Library
Title: Definitional Issues - Race, Ethnicity, and Offical Crime/ Victimization Statistics (From Criminal Justice System and Blacks, P 5-19, 1984, Daniel Georges-Abeyie, ed. - See NCJ-98968)
Author(s): D Georges-Abeyie
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter provides a brief introduction to the social, cultural, and biological significance of race and ethnic-based data commonly associated with offender and victimization statistics.
Abstract: While there can be little doubt that blacks are disproportionately represented in official crime and victimization statistics, at issue is whether this is a racial factor or a cultural variable associated with poverty and urbanism. While notions of genetically linked degeneracy remain a social reality, they have not stood the tests of empiricism or sound logic. Moreover, there is no universally accepted definition of race, and racial categories used in official crime and victim data are broad (black, white, and other) and vaguely defined. Similar definitional problems exist with ethnicity. Ethnicity can be defined as the intersection of race, culture, and place of origin. More abstractly it can be defined as a self-identification that unites a culture and society. This sense of 'we-ness' is demeaned by references that mistake race for nationaltiy, such as victimization data that regard ethnicity as a distinction between Hispanic and non-Hispanic without regard to race. Data based on such broad and misleading definitions of ethnicity and race can contribute little to attempts to understand and control crime. Definitional inaccuracies undoubtedly affect crime and victim data at all levels, from police calls to incarceration. Inaccurate labeling or irresponsible reporting can lead to serous misconceptions which mask the social and biological dynamics underlying criminal behavior. Statistical tables and 11 references are included.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Crime Statistics; Critiques; Ethnic groups; Hispanic Americans; Mexican Americans; Minorities; Victimization
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