Sunday, May 11, 2014

Social Problems 61(2)

Social Problems, May 2014: Volume 61, Issue 2

“Undocumented and Citizen Students Unite”: Building a Cross-Status Coalition through Shared Ideology
Laura E. Enriquez
Social movement coalitions present unique opportunities and challenges for collective action as they bring together organizations, movements, and individuals who hold diverse interests and social positions. The literature suggests that collective identity and shared ideology both offer opportunities for bridging these differences, but few have addressed their relative utility. Drawing on a case study of a university-based coalition of undocumented and citizen students working to build support for the federal DREAM Act, I find that a social justice ideology was used to facilitate fast-paced recruitment, create simplified participation guidelines based on legal status, and allow for the strategic renegotiation of participation. I argue that building a cross-status coalition through a shared ideology has two key advantages: (1) it allows for fast-paced coalition formation and (2) it promotes the mobilization and commitment of organizations and individuals who occupy different identities and social locations. Additionally, I suggest that conflict among members can be best negotiated through the development of discursive and interactive spaces that allow individuals to engage across their different social locations.

Rethinking Coalitions: Anti-Pornography Feminists, Conservatives, and Relationships between Collaborative Adversarial Movements
Nancy Whittier
Social movements interact in a wide range of ways, yet we have only a few concepts for thinking about these interactions: coalition, spillover, and opposition. Many social movements interact with each other as neither coalition partners nor opposing movements. In this article, I argue that we need to think more broadly and precisely about the relationships between movements and suggest a framework for conceptualizing noncoalitional interaction between movements. Although social movements scholars have not theorized such interactions, “strange bedfellows” are not uncommon. They differ from coalitions in form, dynamics, relationship to larger movements, and consequences. I first distinguish types of relationships between movements based on extent of interaction and ideological congruence and describe the relationship between collaborating, ideologically opposed movements, which I call “collaborative adversarial relationships.” Second, I differentiate among the dimensions along which social movements may interact and outline the range of forms that collaborative adversarial relationships may take. Third, I theorize factors that influence collaborative adversarial relationships’ development over time, the effects on participants, and consequences for larger movements, in contrast to coalitions. I draw on the case of the relationship between anti-pornography feminists and conservatives during the 1980s, charting the dynamics of their interaction across arenas and over time.

Children as Brokers of Their Immigrant Families’ Health-Care Connections
Vikki Katz
In an era of ever-increasing population diversity, bilingual intermediaries have become critical to health-care provision in the United States and elsewhere. Professional interpreters fulfill these roles in many cases, but family members frequently do as well. This article focuses on children of immigrants as brokers of language, culture, and media content who facilitate their families’ connections to health-care providers and health-related resources. Children broker in order to compensate for the limited (or nonexistent) accommodations available to their immigrant families when they interact with health-care providers and institutions. As such, children’s brokering constitutes an important, often overlooked, linkage between research on immigrant family dynamics and immigrants’ interactions with host country institutions. Children’s brokering also has implications for their own social, moral, and educational trajectories, which are deeply influenced by their responsibilities to their families. Data collected through field observations and interviews with Latino immigrant parents, their child brokers, and local health-care providers revealed how children’s brokering influences these interactions. This article explores providers’ perceptions of and interactions with child brokers and their families, taken in context of the institutions in which they work and of the intrafamily dynamics that can facilitate or constrain children’s efforts.

Maintaining Racial Boundaries: Criminalization, Neighborhood Context, and the Origins of Gang Injunctions
Ana Muniz
In this article, I examine the City of Los Angeles’s first gang injunction, which was instituted in 1987 against the Playboy Gangster Crips (PBGs) in the Cadillac-Corning neighborhood. Through primary documents and interviews with the authors of the Cadillac-Corning injunction, I offer insight into the primary actors and political struggles behind the prototypical injunction. I argue that prosecutors and police targeted Cadillac-Corning because the neighborhood had undergone demographic change that threatened the boundaries of racial and class separation and control. Despite the sanitization of race in gang injunction policy, fear of black men and stereotypes about black families were central to the rationale of the injunction. The injunction was meticulously designed to control the movement of black youth by criminalizing activities and behavior that are unremarkable and legal in other jurisdictions. The Cadillac-Corning injunction sparked a high-profile court struggle that set the pattern for future injunctions. Today, a protocol is in place that allows the City Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department, to implement injunctions quickly and with little tailoring. The rules are in place but the politics that produced them have disappeared from view. What remains is the criminalization of racial groups and spaces under the guise of routine “race-neutral” policy protocol.

Defining “Policeability”: Cooperation, Control, and Resistance in South Los Angeles Community-Police Meetings
Aaron Roussell and Luis Daniel Gascón
Community policing partnerships are built and maintained by community meetings wherein participants coproduce social order by identifying local problems and devising strategies for their reduction and resolution. Coproduction is a dynamic process of meaning construction that takes place through social interaction. These interactions build toward a mutually satisfactory discourse on local definitions of law, crime, and order. This discourse creates a set of understandings about what citizens interpret as problems, disorder, and crime, as well as police officers’ ability to address these issues using a range of enforcement and nonenforcement strategies. Through this interactive process, police and residents define the “policeability” of residents’ interpretations. Drawing on literature in symbolic interactionism, we chart a course for unpacking the contest over policeable discourse using ethnographic data gathered over a four-year period in community-police meetings in South Los Angeles. This article explores participants’ roles and explicates the process of defining policeability through a set of ideal-type interactions (cooperation, control, and resistance). Power, in this setting, is control over the definition of policeability. Residents are locked into a supplicatory role, while officers are akin to legal brokers, accepting, rejecting, or reframing residents’ claims of crime and disorder. Our findings suggest that, in this precinct, while the rhetoric of cooperation abounds, pessimism on the part of policing scholars about the claims toward true partnership is warranted with respect to the power police retain and express in police-citizen interactions.

The Persistent Significance of Racial and Economic Inequality on the Size of Municipal Police Forces in the United States, 1980–2010
Jason T. Carmichael and Stephanie L. Kent
Recent empirical analyses of the social factors that predict municipal police force size support racial threat theory by suggesting that the racial composition of cities leads to enhanced social control efforts; however, these studies largely ignore explanations based on social class or the influence of an ethnic threat. We examine these alternative threat hypotheses by assessing the potential influence that recent increases in economic inequality and the substantial rise in the Hispanic population in the United States may have had on efforts to control crime. Using an advanced estimation technique to isolate the determinants of police force size in a large sample of U.S. cities between 1980 and 2010, we find that racial threat and economic inequality work both independently and jointly to produce substantial shifts in the size of police forces after accounting for levels of crime as well as other important demographic and structural characteristics. Furthermore, period interactions suggest that racial threat appears to have expanded over the last several decades. Together, our study uncovers novel interactive effects and identifies shifts over time, thus refining existing theoretical assumptions.

The Earnings of Less Educated Asian American Men: Educational Selectivity and the Model Minority Image
ChangHwan Kim and Arthur Sakamoto
Asian Americans have long been popularly portrayed as a “model minority” that has achieved approximate labor market parity with whites. However, this characterization has been alternatively described as “a destructive myth,” especially for those who do not have high levels of education. Our analysis focuses on less educated Asian Americans who may be particularly neglected in the labor market because of their incongruence with the model minority image. Consistent with this focus, we specify quantile regression models that estimate net racial effects at both the lower and the higher ends of the distribution of earnings. The results indicate that Asian American men who drop out of high school earn substantially less than comparable whites at the low end of the earnings distribution. This pattern of racial differentials seems to be consistent with the “destructive myth” perspective and inconsistent with the alternative explanation of negative educational selectivity. In general, our findings illustrate the fruitfulness of Kevin Leicht’s (2008) proposed research agenda of studying racial disadvantage by disaggregated class-related groupings and across the entire distribution of earnings rather than focusing exclusively on one overall racial differential that is assessed as a conditional mean.

Are Contemporary Patterns of Black Male Joblessness Unique? Cohort Replacement, Intracohort Change, and the Diverging Structures of Black and White Men’s Employment
Robert L. Wagmiller, Jr. and Kristen Schultz Lee
Employment rates for black men have declined sharply over the last half century. We use data from the 1962–2009 March Current Population Surveys and linear decomposition techniques to examine the mechanisms generating change in employment rates for white and black men with different levels of education. We find that not only did the overall magnitude of change in employment differ by race and education, but so too did the mechanisms generating change. Black men with less than a college degree experienced sharper declines in employment than did white men and more educated black men. Cohort replacement processes played a more prominent role in employment declines for less educated black men than for other men, who were affected more strongly by intracohort change mechanisms. Stronger cohort replacement effects for less educated black men concentrated joblessness to an unparalleled extent among younger black men with the least formal schooling. Declining employment since the 1960s for this group of men was not primarily the result of economic downturns or layoffs later in life, but rather resulted from the inability of more recent cohorts to secure stable employment. Comparisons of the employment experiences of less educated black men in the metropolises experiencing the most deindustrialization to those of men in other areas reveal that these men experienced greater employment declines not only because more recent cohorts had greater difficulty securing stable employment in early adulthood but also because, within cohorts, they experienced additional job losses associated with aging and changes in the economy.

Journal of Quantitative Criminology 30(2)

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, June 2014: Volume 30, Issue 2

Accounting for Projection Bias in Models of Delinquent Peer Influence: The Utility and Limits of Latent Variable Approaches
Cesar J. Rebellon & Kathryn L. Modecki
Objectives: Projection effects have been shown to bias respondent perceptions of peer delinquency, but network data required to measure peer delinquency directly are unavailable in most existing datasets. Some researchers have therefore attempted to adjust perceived peer behavior measures for bias via latent variable modeling techniques. The present study tested whether such adjustments render perceived peer coefficients equal to direct peer coefficients, using original data collected from 538 young adults (269 dyads). Methods: After first replicating projection effects in our own data and examining the degree to which measures of personal, perceived peer, and direct peer violence represent empirically distinct constructs, we compared coefficients derived from two alternative models of personal violence. The first model included an error-adjusted latent measure of perceived peer violence as a predictor, whereas the second substituted a latent measure of directly-assessed, peer-reported violence. Results: Results suggest that personal, perceived peer, and direct peer measures each reflect fundamentally separate constructs, but call into question whether latent variable techniques used by prior researchers to correct for respondent bias are capable of rendering perceived peer coefficients equal to direct peer coefficients. Conclusions: Research cannot bypass the collection of direct peer delinquency measures via latent variable modeling adjustments to perceived peer measures, nor should models of deviance view perceived peer and direct peer measures as alternative measures of the same underlying construct. Rather, theories of peer influence should elaborate and test models that simultaneously include both peer measures and, further, should attempt to identify those factors that account for currently unexplained variance in perceptions of peer behavior.

Residential Mobility and Delinquency Revisited: Causation or Selection?
Lauren Porter & Matt Vogel
Objectives: To assess the role of selection in the observed association between residential mobility and delinquency among adolescents. Methods: This study draws on a sample of adolescents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We first examine whether adjusting regression models for several well-established determinants of moving attenuates the association between mobility and delinquency. We then employ propensity score methods to estimate the effect of residential mobility on delinquency among a sub-sample of movers and non-movers who had similar likelihoods of moving. Results: The association between mobility and delinquency is significant and positive in regression models, although it is somewhat attenuated by additional control variables that are rarely considered in prior work. However, the distribution of mobility determinants differs substantially across movers and non-movers, potentially biasing these estimates. After covariate balance is achieved using a propensity score approach, we observe no differences in delinquency between groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that certain adolescents are more likely to move than others, explaining the observed association between mobility and delinquency. Future research should therefore be mindful of selection when trying to account for differential outcomes between mobile and non-mobile adolescents.

Individual Differences in the Deterrence Process: Which Individuals Learn (Most) from Their Offending Experiences?
Sonja Schulz
Objectives: To test whether individuals differ in deterrability by studying whether the effect of criminal experiences on perceived detection risk varies by criminal propensity. Methods: Data from the British “Offending, Crime and Justice Survey”, a four-wave panel study on criminal behavior and victimization, are analyzed. Two subsamples for analyses are constructed: one of non-offenders at first measurement, to analyze the effect of gaining first offending experiences during the time of study (n = 1,279) and one sample of individuals who have committed offenses within the past year (n = 567), to analyze the effect of police contact among active offenders. Fixed-effects regressions of perceived detection risk on criminal experiences and interactions between criminal experiences and measures of criminal propensity (risk-affinity, impulsivity) are estimated. Results: Analyses support learning models for the formation and change of risk perceptions, but individual differences by criminal propensity are present in the deterrence process: After gaining first offending experiences, impulsive individuals as well as risk-averse individuals are more likely to lower their perceptions about the probability of detection than less impulsive or risk-affine individuals are. A positive effect of police contact on expected detection risk is restricted to risk-averse individuals. Conclusions: Findings support claims that deterrence works differently for crime-prone individuals. The differential effects of impulsivity and risk-affinity underline the importance of not combining constituent characteristics of criminal propensity in composite indices, because they might have differential effects on deterrence.

Analyzing the Influence of Micro-Level Factors on CCTV Camera Effect
Eric L. Piza , Joel M. Caplan & Leslie W. Kennedy
Objectives: Despite the popularity of closed circuit television (CCTV), evidence of its crime prevention capabilities is inconclusive. Research has largely reported CCTV effect as “mixed” without explaining this variance. The current study contributes to the literature by testing the influence of several micro-level factors on changes in crime levels within CCTV areas of Newark, NJ. Methods: Viewsheds, denoting the line-of-sight of CCTV cameras, were units of analysis (N = 117). Location quotients, controlling for viewshed size and control-area crime incidence, measured changes in the levels of six crime categories, from the pre-installation period to the post-installation period. Ordinary least squares regression models tested the influence of specific micro-level factors—environmental features, camera line-of-sight, enforcement activity, and camera design—on each crime category. Results: First, the influence of environmental features differed across crime categories, with specific environs being related to the reduction of certain crimes and the increase of others. Second, CCTV-generated enforcement was related to the reduction of overall crime, violent crime and theft-from-auto. Third, obstructions to CCTV line-of-sight caused by immovable objects were related to increased levels of auto theft and decreased levels of violent crime, theft from auto and robbery. Conclusions: The findings suggest that CCTV operations should be designed in a manner that heightens their deterrent effect. Specifically, police should account for the presence of crime generators/attractors and ground-level obstructions when selecting camera sites, and design the operational strategy in a manner that generates maximum levels of enforcement.

Superficial Survey Choice: An Experimental Test of a Potential Method for Increasing Response Rates and Response Quality in Correctional Surveys
Justin T. Pickett , Christi Falco Metcalfe , Thomas Baker , Marc Gertz & Laura Bedard
Objectives: Drawing on prior theoretical and empirical work on survey participation, this study develops one potential method for increasing response rates and response quality in correctional surveys. Specifically, we hypothesize that providing inmates with a superficial survey choice (SSC)—that is, a choice between completing either of two voluntary surveys that are actually differently ordered versions of the same questionnaire—will increase their motivation both to participate in a given survey and to respond thoughtfully to the questions asked therein. Methods: We test the effectiveness of this method by evaluating its impact on unit nonresponse, item nonresponse, and answer reliability. To do this, we analyze experimental data from a recent survey of male inmates incarcerated in a medium security, private prison. Results: Findings indicate that the overall response rate is higher among inmates who are provided a survey choice. In addition, the evidence shows that the SSC method increases the percentage of individual items completed, the number of demanding questions completed, and the reliability of reported responses. Conclusion: The results from the analyses are consistent with the hypotheses that motivated this study and suggest that the SSC method holds promise as a tool for correctional researchers.

Crime Gun Risk Factors: Buyer, Seller, Firearm, and Transaction Characteristics Associated with Gun Trafficking and Criminal Gun Use
Christopher S. Koper
Objective: To better understand the workings of illicit gun markets by identifying the characteristics of buyers, sellers, firearms, and transactions that predict whether a gun is used in crime or obtained by an illegal possessor subsequent to purchase. Methods: The study employed multivariate survival analysis utilizing data on nearly 72,000 guns sold in the Baltimore metropolitan area from 1994 through 1999 and subsequent recoveries of over 1,800 of those guns by police in Baltimore through early 2000. Results: Adjusting for exposure time, guns sold in the Baltimore area had a 3.2 % chance of being recovered by police in Baltimore within 5 years. Guns were more likely to be recovered if: they were semiautomatic, medium to large caliber, easily concealable, and cheap; the buyers were black, young, female, living in or close to the city, and had previously purchased guns that were recovered by police; the dealer making the sale was, most notably, in or near the city and had made prior sales of crime guns; and the gun was purchased in a multiple gun transaction. The adoption of a law regulating secondhand gun sales in Maryland did not appear to affect the likelihood of a gun’s recovery, though the extent of the law’s enforcement is unclear. Conclusions: Risk factors identified in this study could be used to guide gun trafficking investigations, regulation of gun dealers, and the development of prevention efforts for high-risk actors and areas. The results also provide some support for policies that regulate particular types of firearms and transactions. Limitations to the study and directions for future research are discussed.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions
Joshua C. Cochran , Daniel P. Mears & William D. Bales
Objectives: Despite the dramatic expansion of the US correctional system in recent decades, little is known about the relative effectiveness of commonly used sanctions on recidivism. The goal of this paper is to address this research gap, and systematically examine the relative impacts on recidivism of four main types of sanctions: probation, intensive probation, jail, and prison. Methods: Data on convicted felons in Florida were analyzed and propensity score matching analyses were used to estimate relative effects of each sanction type on 3-year reconviction rates. Results: Estimated effects suggest that less severe sanctions are more likely to reduce recidivism. Conclusions: The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of tougher sanctioning policies for reducing future criminal behavior. Implications for future research, theory, and policy are also discussed.

“From Your First Cigarette to Your Last Dyin’ Day”: The Patterning of Gang Membership in the Life-Course
David C. Pyrooz
Objective: Motivated by the reorientation of gang membership into a life-course framework and concerns about distinct populations of juvenile and adult gang members, this study draws from the criminal career paradigm to examine the contours of gang membership and their variability in the life-course. Methods: Based on nine annual waves of national panel data from the NLSY97, this study uses growth curve and group-based trajectory modeling to examine the dynamic and cumulative prevalence of gang membership, variability in the pathways into and out of gangs, and the correlates of these pathways from ages 10 to 23. Results: The cumulative prevalence of gang membership was 8 %, while the dynamic age-graded prevalence of gang membership peaked at 3 % at age 15. Six distinct trajectories accounted for variability in the patterning of gang membership, including an adult onset trajectory. Gang membership in adulthood was an even mix of adolescence carryover and adult initiation. The typical gang career lasts 2 years or less, although much longer for an appreciable subset of respondents. Gender and racial/ethnic disproportionalities in gang membership increase in magnitude over the life-course. Conclusions: Gang membership is strongly age-graded. The results of this study support a developmental research agenda to unpack the theoretical and empirical causes and consequences of gang membership across stages of the life-course.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Crime & Delinquency 60(4)

Crime & Delinquency, June 2014: Volume 60, Issue 4

The Ties That Bind: Desistance From Gangs
David C. Pyrooz, Scott H. Decker, and Vincent J. Webb
The present study conceptualizes gang membership in a life-course framework. The authors focus specifically on an understudied aspect of gang membership—desistance. This study’s goal is to further develop our understanding of the process of desisting from gangs. This is done by examining the social and emotional ties that former gang members maintain with their previous gang network. Using a detention sample of juvenile arrestees, the authors first compare differences between 156 current and 83 former gang members at a bivariate level. This is followed by a multivariate analysis of former gang members that (a) examines factors that predict increases of ties to the former gang network and (b) illustrates the importance of gang ties by exploring their effects on victimization. The findings shed light on the correlates and consequences of persisting gang ties. In particular, it is found that ties have direct positive effects on recent victimizations. More important, it is found that longer lengths of desistance matter to the extent that ties are diminished; that is, length of desistance operates indirectly through gang ties to reduce victimization. The study concludes with a discussion of the conceptual and policy implications surrounding gang desistance and how lingering ties to the former gang network are crucial to understanding the desistance process.

It’s Gang Life, But Not As We Know It: The Evolution of Gang Business
James A. Densley
Based on fieldwork with gangs and interviews with gang members in London, United Kingdom, this article illustrates how recreation, crime, enterprise, and extralegal governance represent sequential actualization stages in the evolutionary cycle of street gangs. Gangs evolve from adolescent peer groups and the normal features of street life in their respective neighborhoods. In response to external threats and financial commitments, they grow into drug-distribution enterprises. In some cases, gangs then acquire the necessary special resources of violence, territory, secrecy, and intelligence that enable them to successfully regulate and control the production and distribution of one or more given commodities or services unlawfully. Territory is first claimed then controlled. Likewise, violence is first expressive then instrumental. With each step, gangs move further away from “crime that is organized” and closer to “organized crime.”

Gang Involvement: Social and Environmental Factors
Emma Alleyne and Jane L. Wood
This study examines some of the individual, social, and environmental factors that differentiate gang-involved youth (both gang members and peripheral youth) and nongang youth in a British setting. The authors found that gang-involved youth were more likely than nongang youth to be older, and individual delinquency and neighborhood gangs predicted gang involvement. Using structural equation modeling, the authors examined the relationships between social/environmental factors and gang involvement. As a result, this article found that parental management, deviant peer pressure, and commitment to school had indirect relationships with gang involvement. These findings are discussed as they highlight a need to address the mechanisms in which protective and risk factors function collectively.

The Influence of Gentrification on Gang Homicides in Chicago Neighborhoods, 1994 to 2005
Chris M. Smith
In this study, the author examines the effects of three forms of gentrification—demographic shifts, private investment, and state intervention—on gang-motivated homicides in Chicago from 1994 to 2005 using data from the U.S. Census, the Chicago Police Department, business directories, and the Chicago Housing Authority. The findings suggest that demographic shifts have a strong negative effect on gang homicide. Private investment gentrification, measured here as the proliferation of coffee shops, has a marginally significant and negative effect on gang homicide. In contrast, state-based gentrification, operationalized as the demolition of public housing, has a positive effect on gang homicide.

Latino Street Gang Emergence in the Midwest: Strategic Franchising or Natural Migration?
Mike Tapia
This article explores the role of migration in the recent emergence of Latino street gangs in a large, Midwestern city. Like many other places in the region, Indianapolis, Indiana, has witnessed the growing presence of Latino street gangs over the past decade. Seizing on the opportunity to document and analyze the early stages of formation, competing theoretical perspectives on how and why these gangs emerged are evaluated. The work is supplemented by insights gained in ethnographic work with Latino gang members, nongang Latino residents, public school employees, and police. The result is a contemporary historiography of Latino gang emergence, framed by a description of the social and structural context in which these groups are situated.

Gang Participation
Ho Lam (Eva) Yiu and Gary D. Gottfredson
Schools that require the most help are often those that have difficulty staffing qualified teachers. Data suggest that many teachers who leave their schools or the profession cite student misbehavior and an unsafe work environment as reasons. Although public attention is not at present focused on problems of gang delinquency in schools—focusing instead on educational funding, teacher quality, and achievement levels—there is every reason to anticipate that gangs, school disorder, and teaching quality are closely linked. This research involves a large probability sample of secondary schools surveyed in 1998 merged with U.S. census data on community characteristics. Multilevel models imply that community demographic influences on individual gang involvement (GI) are largely mediated by school and personal variables. School safety and students’ personal sense of safety emerged as important variables that predicted GI.

American Journal of Sociology 119(4)

American Journal of Sociology, January 2014: Volume 119, Issue 4

Job Displacement among Single Mothers: Effects on Children’s Outcomes in Young Adulthood
Jennie E. Brand and Juli Simon Thomas
Given the recent era of economic upheaval, studying the effects of job displacement has seldom been so timely and consequential. Despite a large literature associating displacement with worker well-being, relatively few studies focus on the effects of parental displacement on child well-being, and fewer still focus on implications for children of single-parent households. Moreover, notwithstanding a large literature on the relationship between single motherhood and children’s outcomes, research on intergenerational effects of involuntary employment separations among single mothers is limited. Using 30 years of nationally representative panel data and propensity score matching methods, the authors find significant negative effects of job displacement among single mothers on children’s educational attainment and social-psychological well-being in young adulthood. Effects are concentrated among older children and children whose mothers had a low likelihood of displacement, suggesting an important role for social stigma and relative deprivation in the effects of socioeconomic shocks on child well-being.

Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates
Jennifer Glass and Philip Levchak
Why do states with larger proportions of religious conservatives have higher divorce rates than states with lower proportions of religious conservatives? This project examines whether earlier transitions to marriage and parenthood among conservative Protestants (known risk factors for divorce) contribute to this paradox while attending to other plausible explanations. County-level demographic information from all 50 states is combined from a variety of public data sources and merged with individual records from the National Surveys of Family Growth to estimate both aggregated county and multilevel individual models of divorce. Results show that individual religious conservatism is positively related to individual divorce risk, solely through the earlier transitions to adulthood and lower incomes of conservative Protestants. However, the proportion of conservative Protestants in a county is also independently and positively associated with both the divorce rate in that county and an individual’s likelihood of divorcing. The earlier family formation and lower levels of educational attainment and income in counties with a higher proportion of conservative Protestants can explain a substantial portion of this association. Little support is found for alternative explanations of the association between religious conservatism and divorce rates, including the relative popularity of marriage versus cohabitation across counties.

Hybrid Activism: Social Movement Mobilization in a Multimovement Environment
Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas
Social movement organizations often struggle to mobilize supporters from allied movements in their efforts to achieve critical mass. The authors argue that organizations with hybrid identities—those whose organizational identities span the boundaries of two or more social movements, issues, or identities—are vital to mobilizing these constituencies. They use original data from their study of the post-9/11 U.S. antiwar movement to show that individuals with past involvement in nonantiwar movements are more likely to join hybrid organizations than are individuals without involvement in nonantiwar movements. In addition, they show that organizations with hybrid identities occupy relatively more central positions in interorganizational cocontact networks within the antiwar movement and thus recruit significantly more participants in demonstrations than do nonhybrid organizations. Contrary to earlier research, they do not find that hybrid organizations are subject to an illegitimacy discount; instead, they find that hybridization can augment the ability of social movement organizations to mobilize their supporters in multimovement environments.

The New Immigration Contestation: Social Movements and Local Immigration Policy Making in the United States, 2000–2011
Justin Peter Steil and Ion Bogdan Vasi
Analyzing oppositional social movements in the context of municipal immigration ordinances, the authors examine whether the explanatory power of resource mobilization, political process, and strain theories of social movements’ impact on policy outcomes differs when considering proactive as opposed to reactive movements. The adoption of pro-immigrant (proactive) ordinances was facilitated by the presence of immigrant community organizations and of sympathetic local political allies. The adoption of anti-immigrant (reactive) ordinances was influenced by structural social changes, such as rapid increases in the local Latino population, that were framed as threats. The study also finds that pro-immigrant protest events can influence policy in two ways, contributing both to the passage of pro-immigrant ordinances in the locality where protests occur and also inhibiting the passage of anti-immigrant ordinances in neighboring cities.

Theoretical Criminology 18(2)

Theoretical Criminology, May 2014: Volume 18, Issue 2

Introduction to special issue on Visual Culture and the Iconography of Crime and Punishment
Nicole Rafter

Seeing things: Violence, voyeurism and the camera
Eamonn Carrabine
In increasingly mediatized cultures it is essential that criminologists develop more sophisticated understandings of the power of images and this article offers such an approach. It begins by setting out some of the relationships between photography and criminology as they have evolved over time to enable a richer understanding of how the modern criminal subject is constructed and how archival practices have a significant bearing on how meanings are organized. The second section develops these arguments by focusing on the controversies generated by four images that are among the most astonishing documents to have survived Auschwitz, providing visual evidence of the ‘crime of crimes’. In the final section the distinctive problems posed whenever images of horrific events are re-presented in artistic contexts are confronted in an effort to build a more critically engaged visual criminology.

From object to encounter: Aesthetic politics and visual criminology
Alison Young
Recent criminological research has engaged with images of crime such that there increasingly appears to exist a need for a specifically visual criminology. Within visual criminology, however, images are frequently constructed as objects of analysis rather than as constitutive elements of the discursive field. This article draws upon the specific context of the social, cultural and legal responses to uncommissioned words and images in public space—street art and graffiti writing. Focusing on one instance of unauthorized image making, I argue for the dynamic role of the image in the constitution of crime in contemporary society and culture, thanks to the affective dimension of the encounter between spectator and image. The complex range of responses to street art and graffiti highlights ways in which visual criminology must ensure that it eschews an object-centred approach to the image, and conceptualize it instead by means of an aesthetic politics of the encounter.

Visual criminology and carceral studies: Counter-images in the carceral age
Michelle Brown
Mass incarceration maps onto global neoliberal carceral formations that, in turn, look very much like a visual iconography of social suffering. Camp or prison-like conditions define the daily life of many of the world’s inhabitants caught in contexts of detention, incarceration, forced migration, and population displacement. Often depicted as abject subjects, actors in carceral contexts and the people who organize with them seek to find strategies of representation that humanize and politicize their existence. This essay attempts to gain a sense of the visual struggles at the heart of these carceral scenes by way of an analysis of the use of images and new media by current and former prisoners, community members, artists, and scholars to counter mass incarceration in the United States. Such scenes are significant sites for examining how a visual criminology might reveal and participate in the contestations and interventions that increasingly challenge the project of mass incarceration.

(Un)seeing like a prison: Counter-visual ethnography of the carceral state
Judah Schept
While prisons proliferate in the rural landscape and sites of penal tourism expand, the carceral state structures the available visual and analytic vantages through which to perceive this growing visibility. Using examples from fieldwork in Kentucky, including Appalachian prison communities and a site of penal tourism, this article proposes ‘counter-visual’ ethnography to better perceive the ideological work that the carceral state performs in the spatial and cultural landscape. A counter-visual ethnography retrains our eyes to see that which is not ‘there’ but which structures the contemporary empirical realities we observe, record, and analyze: the ghosts of racialized regimes past, the sediment of dirty industry that seeps into and imbues the present, and the trans-historical and trans-local circulation of carceral logics and epistemologies. In addition, this article suggests the important role images play in shaping alternative vantages from which to better perceive the carceral state with historical, spatial, and political acuity.

‘No one wins. One side just loses more slowly’: The Wire and drug policy
Stephen Wakeman
This article presents a cultural analysis of HBO’s drama series, The Wire. It is argued here that, as a cultural text, The Wire forms a site of both containment and resistance, of hegemony and change with recourse to the regulation of illicit drug markets. In this sense The Wire constitutes an important cultural paradigm of drug policy debates, one that has significant heuristic implications regarding both the present consequences and future directions of illicit drug policy. Ultimately, it is demonstrated below that through its representations of the tensions and antagonisms characteristic of drug control systems, The Wire reveals larger predicaments of governance faced by neoliberal democracies today.

Criminology 52(2)

Criminology, May 2014: Volume 52, Issue 2

Criminal Group Embeddedness And The Adverse Effects Of Arresting A Gang's Leader: A Comparative Case Study
Robert Vargas
Although law enforcement agencies arrest criminal group leaders to dismantle organized crime, few studies have assessed whether such interventions produce adverse effects. Through a mixed-method comparative case study of the Latin Kings and 22 Boys street gangs in Chicago, this article examines the consequences of arresting a gang's leader. Using violent crime data, I show that a spike in violent crime took place in the first month after the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader. In contrast, the arrest of the Latin Kings gang leader produced no change in violent crime. Using several qualitative data sources, I show that the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader temporarily led to the gang's withdrawal from its territory, which spurred violent aggression from rival gangs in adjacent territories. In contrast, the Latin Kings gang continued its operations because the gang's prison leaders quickly appointed new leadership. The results suggest that criminal group embeddedness (or the social relations between criminal groups) can contribute to adverse effects in interventions targeting gang or other criminal group leaders.

The “True” Juvenile Offender: Age Effects And Juvenile Court Sanctioning
Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, Brian J. Stults, Sarah J. Greenman, Avinash S. Bhati And Mark A. Greenwald
Age is the only factor used to demarcate the boundary between juvenile and adult justice. However, little research has examined how age guides the juvenile court in determining which youth within the juvenile justice system merit particular dispositions, especially those that reflect the court's emphasis on rehabilitation. Drawing on scholarship on the court's origins, attribution theory, and cognitive heuristics, we hypothesize that the court focuses on youth in the middle of the range of the court's age of jurisdiction—characterized in this article as “true” juveniles—who may be viewed as meriting more specialized intervention. We use data from Florida for court referrals in 2008 (N = 71,388) to examine the decision to proceed formally or informally and, in turn, to examine formally processed youth dispositions (dismissal, diversion, probation, commitment, and transfer) and informally processed youth dispositions (dismissal, diversion, and probation). The analyses provide partial support for the hypothesis. The very young were more likely to be informally processed; however, among the informally processed youth, the youngest, not “true” juveniles, were most likely to be diverted or placed on probation. By contrast, among formally processed youth, “true” juveniles were most likely to receive traditional juvenile court responses, such as diversion or probation.

The Pragmatic American: Empirical Reality Or Methodological Artifact?
Justin T. Pickett And Thomas Baker
Scholars widely agree that the public is pragmatic about criminal justice. The empirical basis for this conclusion is the failure in several previous studies to find a sizable negative relationship between dispositional and situational crime attributions, or between support for punitive and rehabilitative crime policies. We suggest, however, that public pragmatism may be an artifact of the use of unidirectional question batteries in prior research to measure attribution styles and policy support. When such questions are used, acquiescent responding can introduce systematic error that is positively correlated across items and scales. Drawing on data from an experiment with a national sample (N = 826) of Internet panelists, we examine how this methodological approach impacts the bivariate correlations and multivariate relationships between attribution styles and between support for punitive and rehabilitative crime policies. The findings reveal that using unidirectional sets of questions to measure these concepts likely results in 1) inflated alpha reliability coefficients, 2) an underestimation of the magnitude of the negative relationships between attribution styles and between punitiveness and support for rehabilitation, and 3) an underestimation of the extent to which punitiveness and support for rehabilitation are driven by the same factors, working in opposite directions.

Pulling Back The Curtain On Heritability Studies: Biosocial Criminology In The Postgenomic Era
Callie H. Burt And Ronald L. Simons
Unfortunately, the nature-versus-nurture debate continues in criminology. Over the past 5 years, the number of heritability studies in criminology has surged. These studies invariably report sizeable heritability estimates (∼50 percent) and minimal effects of the so-called shared environment for crime and related outcomes. Reports of such high heritabilities for such complex social behaviors are surprising, and findings indicating negligible shared environmental influences (usually interpreted to include parenting and community factors) seem implausible given extensive criminological research demonstrating their significance. Importantly, however, the models on which these estimates are based have fatal flaws for complex social behaviors such as crime. Moreover, the goal of heritability studies—partitioning the effects of nature and nurture—is misguided given the bidirectional, interactional relationship among genes, cells, organisms, and environments. This study provides a critique of heritability study methods and assumptions to illuminate the dubious foundations of heritability estimates and questions the rationale and utility of partitioning genetic and environmental effects. After critiquing the major models, we call for an end to heritability studies. We then present what we perceive to be a more useful biosocial research agenda that is consonant with and informed by recent advances in our understanding of gene function and developmental plasticity.

Changes In Criminal Offending Around The Time Of Job Entry: A Study Of Employment And Desistance
Torbjørn Skardhamar And Jukka Savolainen
Does employment promote desistance from crime? Most perspectives assume that individuals who become employed are less likely to offend than those who do not. The critical issue has to do with the timing of employment transitions in the criminal trajectory. The turning point hypothesis expects reductions in offending after job entries, whereas the maturation perspective assumes desistance to have occurred ahead of successful transitions to legitimate work. Focusing on a sample of recidivist males who became employed during 2001–2006 (N = 783), smoothing spline regression techniques were used to model changes in criminal offending around the point of entry to stable employment. Consistent with the maturation perspective, the results showed that most offenders had desisted prior to the employment transition and that becoming employed was not associated with further reductions in criminal behavior. Consistent with the turning point hypothesis, we identified a subset of offenders who became employed during an active phase of the criminal career and experienced substantial reductions in criminal offending thereafter. However, this trajectory describes less than 2 percent of the sample. The patterns observed in this research suggest that transition to employment is best viewed as a consequence rather than as a cause of criminal desistance.

Heart Rate And Antisocial Behavior: The Mediating Role Of Impulsive Sensation Seeking
Jill Portnoy, Adrian Raine, Frances R. Chen, Dustin Pardini, Rolf Loeber And J. Richard Jennings
Although a low resting heart rate is considered the best-replicated biological correlate of antisocial behavior, the mechanism underlying this relationship remains largely unknown. Sensation-seeking and fearlessness theories have been proposed to explain this relationship, although little empirical research has been conducted to test these theories. This study addressed this limitation by examining the relationship between heart rate and antisocial behavior in a community sample of 335 adolescent boys. Heart rate was measured during a series of cognitive, stress, and rest tasks. Participants also completed self-report measures of state fear, impulsive sensation seeking, and both aggressive and nonaggressive forms of antisocial behavior. As expected, increased levels of aggression and nonviolent delinquency were associated with a low heart rate. Impulsive sensation seeking, but not fearlessness, significantly mediated the association between heart rate and aggression. This study is the first to show that impulsive sensation seeking partly underlies the relationship between aggression and heart rate, and it is one of the few to examine the mechanism of action linking heart rate to antisocial behavior. Findings at a theoretical level highlight the role of impulsive sensation seeking in understanding antisocial behavior and at an intervention level suggest it as a potential target for behavioral change.