Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chiricos, Ted: Racial Threat and Fear
Michael J. Hogan
The concept of racial threat was first introduced by Ted Chiricos in the late 1990s, and he and colleagues have continued to develop a theory of racial threat since then through a series of journal articles examining fear of crime, perceived risk of crime victimization, sentencing decisions, and punitive attitudes. The basic argument is that the more people associate crime with minorities, and African Americans especially, the more at risk and fearful of crime they will be. These sentiments will in turn generate public support for more punitive criminal justice policy and thus contribute to the enactment and continuation of such policies. This entry sketches out the social, political, and economic context that was instrumental in stimulating the development of the racial threat hypothesis before addressing its theoretical background and further developing the argument. There were a series of developments in crime and criminal justice, the economy, and politics that ...