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The Black Criminal Other as an Object of Social Control

Williams, Patrick and Clarke, Rebecca (2018) The Black Criminal Other as an Object of Social Control. Social Sciences, 7 (11). ISSN 2076-0760

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Abstract

Throughout this paper, we contend that the ‘gang’ has been appropriated by the state as an ideological device that drives the hypercriminalisation of black, mixed, Asian, and other minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Drawing upon two research studies, we demonstrate how the gang is evoked to explain an array of contemporary ‘crime’ problems, which in turn (re)produces racialised objects to be policed. With particular reference to collective punishments, we suggest that “gang-branding” is critical to the development of guilt-producing associations that facilitate the arrest, charging, and prosecution of countless numbers of BAME people for offences they did not commit. As such, there is now an urgent need to ‘take seriously’ the criminalising intents of a dangerous criminology of the Other, which legitimises intrusive racist policing and surveillance, and justifies the imposition of deliberate harms upon racialised communities.

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