Race and Crime Lecture Notes – Week 13 & 14
Myths: Cultural Representations of Race and Crime
- “Race” as a social and political construction.
- “Traditional” versus “Symbolic” and “Systemic” Racism
1) Traditional Racism = an individual believing that another individual is inferior or incompetent
because of their race, nationality or colour.
2) Symbolic Racism = the belief system that shows prejudice towards the Black community and
emphasizes how Blacks are morally inferior to Whites. Cannot be prevented because of the
invisibility and deniability that occurs.
3) Systemic Racism = Failure of an institution (University, hospital, government, family,
workplace or any other organization) to provide an appropriate and professional service to an
individual because of their race, nationality or colour. Once again, this cannot be prevented
because it is so subtle, almost invisible and denied by organizations.
- Cultural representations of crime and criminality informed by race.
- “Racialization of Crime” and the “Criminalization of Race”:
Racialization of Crime: the process through which crime is constructed or defined in racial
terms. Eventually, these constructed representations and images of crime lead to the
criminalization of race. Groups of people are negatively represented in our society because of
our paradigms and constructed images about them.
Criminalization of Race: the treatment of particular racialized groups with the assumption that
they are all criminals.