|About the Book|
Unlike the outcry over street crime committed by males, concerns about women and violence have centered primarily on their roles as victims of sexual and physical violence committed by strangers and by males in intimate relationships. Rarely isMoreUnlike the outcry over street crime committed by males, concerns about women and violence have centered primarily on their roles as victims of sexual and physical violence committed by strangers and by males in intimate relationships. Rarely is violence by women considered in the development or testing of theories of aggression.The book provides a detailed account of the criminal careers of 170 women who committed violent street crimes in New York City, describing their entry into criminal activities, their development into persistent street criminals, and, for some, their eventual transition out of street crime.Unlike other qualitative works in this area, Casualties of Community Disorder offers more than cultural analysis. Deborah Baskin and Ira Sommers integrate structural and individual levels of explanation by examining the career patterns of female violent offenders and the relationships of these women to family members and communities. Through the use of census data, analyses of political and economic changes, and ethnographic observations of activities specific to these communities, the authors provide a perspective on the relationship of individual decisions to structural constraints.The research presented here clearly challenges contemporary assumptions regarding female offending. Baskin and Sommers’ analysis suggests a complex relationship of social and individual factors that serves as a caution against generic and gender-based generalizations that have been drawn from time-bound, aggregate level data sets and from ethnographies of women’s involvement in street hustling. Finally, in Casualties of Community Disorder, the street drug and criminal subculture is understood through the words of those who usually are spoken for, studied, and objectified.