The Construction and Reinforcement of Myths of Race and Crime

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew B. Robinson Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Much of what we know about crime is myth. Myths are falsehoods that have become accepted as truth because they have been told and retold over time. Many myths of crime revolve around race. This article documents how myths of crime associated with race are created and reinforced through the criminal justice process and the media. The examination begins with the process of lawmaking, demonstrating how American criminal law creates biases against particular groups and benefits others by creating myths about race and crime. The article then analyzes how portrayal of crime in the mass media and activities of law enforcement, courts, and corrections reinforce myths of race and crime. A model of myth creation and reinforcement is presented, and implications of the model for the American criminal justice system and larger society are discussed.

Additional Information

Robinson, Matthew B. (2000). The Construction and Reinforcement of Myths of Race and Crime, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 16, 2: 133-156. ISSN: 1043-9862
Language: English
Date: 2016

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