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The Utility of Racial Threat Theory in Understanding Racial Disparaties in School Discipline

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Abstract:

Fundamentally a conflict perspective, racial threat theory emphasizes the dominant groups use of state apparatuses, including criminal law, to control subordinate groups who threaten their interests. As originally posed by Blalock (1967), the increased presence and visibility of minority groups is perceived by whites as an economic threat and political threat (later scholars have amended Blalock's theory to include the threat of black crime.) Further, racial threat theorists suggests that dominant groups respond to increases in minority populations through political discrimination, symbolic segregation and threat-oriented ideologies.

While the original racial threat theory and subsequent interpretations pay little, if any, attention to the educational system as a means of exerting social control over minority populations, interpretation of racial threat theory into an educational context may provide a theoretical framework from which to consider racial disparaties in school discipline. More specifically, increased reliance on more punitive punishment for school misconduct (criminal or otherwise) may be related to school desegregation and increases in immigrant student populations.

In this paper, I explore the potential utility of racial threat theory in understanding racial disparaties in school discipline by suggesting ways in which the theory can be translated into an educational context.
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Name: AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212916_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Aseltine, Elyshia. "The Utility of Racial Threat Theory in Understanding Racial Disparaties in School Discipline" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia, <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212916_index.html>

APA Citation:

Aseltine, E. D. "The Utility of Racial Threat Theory in Understanding Racial Disparaties in School Discipline" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212916_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Fundamentally a conflict perspective, racial threat theory emphasizes the dominant groups use of state apparatuses, including criminal law, to control subordinate groups who threaten their interests. As originally posed by Blalock (1967), the increased presence and visibility of minority groups is perceived by whites as an economic threat and political threat (later scholars have amended Blalock's theory to include the threat of black crime.) Further, racial threat theorists suggests that dominant groups respond to increases in minority populations through political discrimination, symbolic segregation and threat-oriented ideologies.

While the original racial threat theory and subsequent interpretations pay little, if any, attention to the educational system as a means of exerting social control over minority populations, interpretation of racial threat theory into an educational context may provide a theoretical framework from which to consider racial disparaties in school discipline. More specifically, increased reliance on more punitive punishment for school misconduct (criminal or otherwise) may be related to school desegregation and increases in immigrant student populations.

In this paper, I explore the potential utility of racial threat theory in understanding racial disparaties in school discipline by suggesting ways in which the theory can be translated into an educational context.

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