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Crime and Criminality: Historical Differences in Hawai’i

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Title:Crime and Criminality: Historical Differences in Hawai’i
Authors:Merry, Sally Engle
historical anthropology
show 2 morecriminalization
show less
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:2002
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Merry, S. E. 2002. Crime and Criminality: Historical Differences in Hawai’i. The Contemporary Pacific 14 (2): 412-24.
Abstract:Native Hawaiians are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated in the state of
Hawai‘i, according to statistics from the criminal justice system. Asians are underrepresented and whites are represented slightly above their proportion of the population.
Although these statistics have sometimes been used to make arguments
about criminal propensities, this article argues that such diff e rences are not inherent
but are socially produced. They reflect the kinds of behavior that are defined
as criminal and subjected to energetic arrest, prosecution, and conviction while
other behaviors are ignored. Using historical data, this article argues that criminalization
is a social process that zeroes in on certain populations and their activities
and that its targets change with alterations in historical circumstances.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2002 - Volume 14, Number 2

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