The Casualties Of Community Disorder Essay example
The book itself is devided into seven chapters but can be restructured into three parts that relate to the main questions Baskin and Sommers tried to answer: “How are women’s careers circumscribed specifically by gender? And what accounts for the increasing pull of certain groups of women into the world of violent crime?”(p.7)
In the introductory part the authors not only criticise earlier studies by saying that they mainly saw women as passive parts driven by male offenders but also provide detailed information about the effect of deindustrialization, the growing cocaine and crack markets and the harsh drug policy on New York City.
The main part focuses chronologically on all aspects of a woman’s criminal career in this neighbourhood from the path to crime to the actual violent offences and in some cases also the retreat back into a normal life. Baskin and Sommers begin by describing the interviewee’s poor, highly uneducated and mostly Hispanic or black dominated communities Washington Heights, Central Harlem and Bushwick. The women were exposed to crime, drug abuse and violence from their childhood on. The authors distinguish between two types of ways of getting into crime. The early onset group which is characterized by a dysfunctional family and problems at school and the later onset…