Organization properties and sex-segregation in the underworld: Building a sociological theory of sex differences in crime

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135 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this report I examine institutionalized sexism in the underworld. Crime in its more organized and lucrative dimensions is virtually a male phenomenon. Still, sex-segregation in the underworld is variable, being more common in some crime groups than in others. To explain this, I offer a series of propositions and hypotheses linking female access to crime groups to their structure and methods of operation. The proposed framework elaborates on Cloward’s opportunity theory by discriminating among illegitimate opportunities depending on whether they are for underworld or upperworld crime, for organized or unorganized crime, for lucrative or petty crime. The scheme can be extended, as well, to an interpretation of race and kinship segregation in the underworld and to an interpretation of sex differences in upperworld crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1032
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Forces
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1983

Fingerprint

sociological theory
segregation
offense
organization
interpretation
sexism
Underworld
Crime
Sex Differences
Segregation
Sociological Theory
kinship
Group

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "In this report I examine institutionalized sexism in the underworld. Crime in its more organized and lucrative dimensions is virtually a male phenomenon. Still, sex-segregation in the underworld is variable, being more common in some crime groups than in others. To explain this, I offer a series of propositions and hypotheses linking female access to crime groups to their structure and methods of operation. The proposed framework elaborates on Cloward’s opportunity theory by discriminating among illegitimate opportunities depending on whether they are for underworld or upperworld crime, for organized or unorganized crime, for lucrative or petty crime. The scheme can be extended, as well, to an interpretation of race and kinship segregation in the underworld and to an interpretation of sex differences in upperworld crime.",
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