Racial Threat and Social Control
Justin Pickett & Ted Chiricos
Racial threat refers to the real or perceived threat that minorities may pose to a dominant racial or ethnic group's political power, economic well-being, or sense of personal safety. Theorists presume racial threat, sometimes termed minority threat, social threat, racial group threat , or simply group threat , to be the basis for the mobilization of various forms of social control by those who have the power to do so. As applied by researchers, racial threat in its economic, political, or personal safety aspect has helped account for such diverse forms of social control as laws supporting racial segregation, felon disenfranchisement, opposition to affirmative action, public lynching, and a range of measures related to the administration of justice. The latter is the context in which racial threat is particularly relevant for criminology. Criminologists have hypothesized that racial threat is consequential for such justice-related outcomes as the size and funding of ...