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Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice

Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice

July 2005 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Why are there pronounced gender differences in rates of criminal victimization? Does gender influence the response of the criminal justice system and other parts of the community to offenders and to crime victims?  What part does gender play in the etiology of illegal activities committed by both males and females? Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice takes a contemporary look at such questions and considers areas that are often neglected in other books on gender, crime, and justice.  

In the last three decades, there has been an explosion of theory and related research relevant to gender, crime, and justice. Author Merry Morash, a well-known feminist scholar in the field of criminal justice, acquaints readers with key breakthroughs in criminological conceptualization and theories to explain the interplay between gender and both crime and justice. Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice pays special attention to race, ethnicity, and immigrant groups, and provides a unique comparative perspective.  

Key Features

  • Includes first-person accounts from crime victims, workers in the justice system, male lawbreakers, and women engaged in prostitution to give insight into a diversity of experiences and standpoints
  • Parallels the effects of gender and sexual orientation in laws, in patterns and causes of victimization, and in the responses of the justice system to both victims and offenders
  • Integrates international examples to place U.S. experiences in a comparative perspective and to show gender inequities on a worldwide scale
  • Provides numerous photos—unique for a text of this type—to portray people of all sorts in various regions of the world
  • Includes Web site recommendations for further exploration of chapter topics  

Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice is an ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses that focus on women and criminal justice. The book is also a valuable asset for gender courses in sociology and for women's studies programs.

1. Key Questions About Gender, Crime and Justice
Criteria used to select the theories that will be described  
Postmodern themes  
Brief overview  
Key terms  
Early theoretical work  
Injustices in Prior Policies and Practices  
Advances in Theory  
Ways of Knowing about gender, crime and justice  
Ways of Thinking about Gender, Crime, and Justice  
Organization of the chapters  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
2. Gender and the Law
Laws against gender-relate victimization  
Laws related to reproduction and child protection  
Laws against prostitution  
Pornography and the law  
International law  
Law prohibiting consensual sexual activity between same sex adults  
Limits of the law  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to Explore  
3. Gender-Related Victimization
Description of gender-related victimization  
Fear and Everyday Violence  
Naming forms of gender-related victimization  
Denial of victimization  
Explaining gender-related victimization  
Immigration through marriage: The confluence of structural inequality, culture, and gender stereotypes  
Victimized offenders  
Effects of gender- and sexual orientation-related victimization  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to Explore  
4. Social Movements and the Response to Victims of Gender-Related Crime
Activists and social movements  
The Feminist Movement  
Movement activities aimed at diverse populations  
International priorities  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to explore  
5. The Influence of Context and Individual Differences on Responses to Gender - Related Victimization
Community characteristics and response to victims  
Organizational context and response to victims  
Individual-level influences on responses to victims  
Recasting victims as offenders  
Transforming the victim through court talk  
The media  
Victims exercising agency  
Constraints on agency  
Decisions about victims of gender-related crimes  
Too much criminal justice system?  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to explore  
6. Explanations of Illegal Behavior
Gender differences in amount and type of illegal behavior  
Economic marginalization  
Public policy and involvement in crime  
Questions answered by macro-level explanations  
The life course and pathways perspectives  
Gender identity and crime  
Biological explanations for females' and males' illegal behavior  
Offenders exercising agency in choosing to break the law  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to explore  
7. Gender and Response to Lawbreakers
Macro-level influences on responses to lawbreakers  
Organizational context and response to people who break the law  
Correctional and punitive responses  
Individual Level Explanations of Responses to Offenders  
Offenders' exercising agency: personal resources and decisions  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to explore  
8. Advances and Challenges in Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice
Overview of advances  
Global perspective and globalization  
The relevance of context  
Agency and empowerment  
Complex theories  
Transgressing academic fields and theories within fields  
Gender and sexual orientation  
Research approaches  
Final comments on justice  
Public policy, legislation, and change  
Key Terms  
Review and Discussion  
Websites to Explore  
Key features
  • Authored by a well-known woman in the criminal justice profession
  • Focus is on contemporary advances in the study of women in criminal justice, doesn't overemphasize the historical view.
  • Coverage of race, ethnicity and immigrant groups are woven thru the book.
  • Comparative global coverage integrated at appropriate spots


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ISBN: 9780761926306

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