Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Mainstream criminological theories often fail to incorporate demographic characteristics (which are robust predictors of criminal behavior). Also, many scholars suggest that theories of criminality need to move beyond sex or race or class etc. and utilize these dynamic characteristics in tandem. This theoretical perspective is often referred to as intersectionality. There is some criminological literature on the individual effects of these demographic characteristics as they represent social status as such they interact to effect experience, agency, and power. This analysis discusses how studying the intersectionality of gender and race may change explanations of criminal behavior. Specifically, how knowledge of gender and race literatures may interact to inform Agnew’s general strain theory.



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