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Race and Crime

Course Code

of 4
Nov 30 – Race and Crime/Criminalization/Undocumented Migration
-Black people are highly over-represented in certain offence categories
-Four different explanatory frameworks to try to understand this racial breakdown of arrests
-More police surveillance = more likely to be caught than others who engage in same forms of
criminal activity
-Police more likely to use force against minorities
-Racial bias in granting bail and conditions of release
-Racial bias may also exist in prison
oMinority inmates over-represented among prisoners charged with misconduct
Importation Model
- Intersection of race and immigration status
-Assumes that some migrants arrive with the explicit objective to participate in criminal activity
Policy initiatives:
-Screening of potential immigrants and refugees
-Tracking of international criminals
-Restricting immigration from “crime-prone” countries
-Deporting immigrants convicted of crimes
-Absolves Canadian society of any responsibility since
Cultural-Conflict Model
- Intersection between race and culture variables
-Maintaining certain practices can conflict with Canadian law
-May be seen as criminal in Canada
Policy initiatives:
-Legal education
oAbout Canadian law before arrival
oAbout potential conflicts with the law
Strain Model
- Intersections of race and social class
- It is the experiences within Canadian society that are the primary causes of crimes
-Conditions of poverty, frustration, and hopelessness
Policy initiatives:
-Eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, and increase opportunities
Bias Model
-Over representation is not the result of racial differences in criminal behaviour, but instead is the
result of systemic and overt discrimination within the Canadian justice system
-i.e. Racial Profiling
owhen members of certain racial groups become subject to greater levels of criminal
justice surveillance than other citizens
Securitization of migration
- Ibrahim
- ‘racisms most modern form
-Based on the idea that cultural difference leads to social breakdown
- ‘exclusion based on cultural difference
How can culture be seen as dangerous?
-Cuilture (i.e. traditions, language etc) + familiarity = security’
-See slides**
Reconstructed security’
- ‘human security
-Concerned with potential threats to population (focus on individuals)
-Orientalism (Said, 1978)
oDistinguishing between use and them
-Economic threat
-Potential terrorists
Case Study:
-Chinese Boat People
-Summer 1999; 4 boats; 599 migrants
- ‘illegal migrants = security issue/threat
Identity Construction
-Undocumented/uninvited/unskilled migrants
= undesired
What is citizenship?
-A relationship formed in law between an individual and a nation-state
-Assumption state is a neutral and fair arbiter of rights
-Reality state isnt neutral or fair
oOwn objectives and ambitions
-Stasiulis and Bakan:
oSubject to change
oAgency vitally important
-Examined through individuals who lives and work where they dont have membership
-Where restrictions are imposed
- ‘illegal; non-status; undocumented; precarious migrant
-A relationship negotiated between an individual and the state
-Comparing documented and undocumented Brazilian experiences in Toronto
Renato (undocumented)
-Belo Horizonte
-Civil engineer
-Arrive at 35, alone, on a business visa
-Strong networks (work, religion, and the new migrant program)