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Crime as Structured Action


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1: Theory 2: Racist Lynchers 3: Reformed Hustler 4: Murderous Managers 5: Perilous President Conclusion Notes References Index

About the Author

James W. Messerschmidt is professor of sociology and chair of the criminology department at the University of Southern Maine, where he also teaches in the women's and gender studies program. He is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Masculinities and Crime and Gender, Heterosexuality, and Youth Violence.


This splendid book takes the discussion of society and crime to a new level, with powerful case studies of how criminal action arises from the dynamics of gender, race, class, and sexuality, and in turn helps to make social hierarchies. The new edition puts the argument in touch with recent research, and gives us an important resource for understanding masculinities, as well as crime. -- Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney; author of Gender: In World Perspective and Masculinities
It's not enough to note the statistics-that perpetrators of crime are overwhelmingly male. And it's facile and wrong to imply a one-to-one correspondence between norms of masculinity and criminal behavior, since the overwhelming majority of men do not commit crimes (are they not 'real men'?) In this edition of his landmark book, James Messerschmidt develops a theory of gendered crime that is complex enough to embrace the problem, and accessible enough to enable every reader to understand it. -- Michael Kimmel, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Stony Brook University
James W. Messerschmidt's achievements here are many. No book sheds more light on the interrelationship between crime and gender, race and class. The book also guides criminology toward a consideration of organized, often broadly condoned harms, such as war-making. It is a boon to social theory no less than to criminology, countering simplistic notions of gender and clarifying the paradoxical nature of social life-precarious at every moment and yet highly patterned. Crime as Structured Action carries a heavy load and carries it well. -- Lois Presser, Professor of Sociology, University of Tennessee
With clear and accessible prose James Messerschmidt demonstrates once again his ability to deploy complicated feminist theories to analyze men's crime and violence. Through a deft analysis of racist lynchings, technological disasters, and global warfare, Messerschmidt simultaneously broadens our conception of crime, while demonstrating how our understanding of the causes, consequences, and solutions to violence are at best incomplete if we fail to shine analytic light on the centrality of masculinities. -- Michael A. Messner, University of Southern California Dornsife; coauthor of Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence against Women
This edition of Crime as Structured Action provides an updated, timely, and necessary addition to theoretical criminology. With keen attention to intersectionality, James W. Messerschmidt intricately, creatively, and unapologetically analyzes crime within the social contexts of masculinities, gender, sexuality, race, and class. -- Hillary Potter, University of Colorado Boulder
James Messerschmidt's Crime as Structured Action is a classic analysis of the relationship between masculinities and crime. It provides an excellent statement of his structured action framework and four case study applications-each classics in their own right-that illustrate and elaborate his approach. This second edition also contains a new introduction that provides a thoughtful yet concise update of the latest research in the area. It is not only an important book for scholars, but it would also serve as an excellent text for graduate or undergraduate courses in sociology, gender studies, or criminology. -- Nancy Jurik, Arizona State University
[Crime as Structured Action] offers a complex yet accessible engagement of intersectionality on criminality. . . .[A] welcomed sociological examination and critical criminologists should find its basic premise of the multidimensionality and reciprocal nature of behavior and social structure informed and particularly useful in the classroom. . . .[A]n important contribution to the criminological literature because of the noted limitation of the discipline to bring in theoretical, interdisciplinary, and intersectional framing of the complex everydayness of law, law-breaking, and social reaction to law and law-breaking. . . . Readers who are interested in a brief, informed, [and] historical-centered analysis . . . will benefit from Messerschmidt's new volume. * Critical Criminology *

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