On SAGE Insight: Race and policing in historical context

Article title: Race and policing in historical context: Dehumanization and the policing of Black people in the 21st century

From Theoretical Criminology

Criminologists have devoted considerable effort to understanding Black Americans’ relationship with the police over the last half-century. Yet, despite the voluminous research produced, there remains no consensus over what causes Blacks to be disproportionately stopped, searched, processed, and in some cases killed by law enforcement agencies. This article draws upon intersectionality to present an historical analysis of the policing of African Americans. The article argues that the concept of dehumanization helps explain the structural inequalities that produce crime within African American communities and the presence of racism within law enforcement agencies.

Abstract

Too little consideration has been given to conceptualizing race within mainstream criminological scholarship. One consequence of this oversight is the existence of a stale debate over the causes of racial disparities in crime and criminal justice outcomes. This article draws upon intersectionality to present an historical analysis of the policing of African Americans. The article argues that the concept of dehumanization helps explain the structural inequalities that produce crime within African American communities and the presence of racism within law enforcement agencies. The discipline may advance research in this area by adopting a constructionist racialization framework.

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Article details
Race and policing in historical context: Dehumanization and the policing of Black people in the 21st century
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
Theoretical Criminology
2017, Vol. 21(1)
DOI: 10.1177/1362480616677493

 

 

     
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