Crime and criminality: Historical differences in Hawai'i

Sally Merry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Native Hawaiians are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated in the state of Hawai'i, according to statistics from the criminal justice system. Asians are under-represented and whites are represented slightly above their proportion of the population. Although these statistics have sometimes been used to make arguments about criminal propensities, this article argues that such differences are not inherent but are socially produced. They reflect the kinds of behavior that are defined as criminal and subjected to energetic arrest, prosecution, and conviction while other behaviors are ignored. Using historical data, this article argues that criminalization is a social process that zeroes in on certain populations and their activities and that its targets change with alterations in historical circumstances.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)412-534
    Number of pages123
    JournalContemporary Pacific
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Sep 2002

    Fingerprint

    Criminality
    crime
    statistics
    offense
    criminalization
    prosecution
    social process
    energetics
    justice
    criminality

    Keywords

    • Colonialism
    • Crime
    • Criminalization
    • Hawai'i
    • Historical anthropology
    • Law

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Crime and criminality : Historical differences in Hawai'i. / Merry, Sally.

    In: Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 14, No. 2, 09.2002, p. 412-534.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Merry, Sally. / Crime and criminality : Historical differences in Hawai'i. In: Contemporary Pacific. 2002 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 412-534.
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