From Publishers Weekly
While African Americans consider how to accommodate participation in the feminist and black nationalist movements, Richie has taken on one of the most contested issues within the community: African American women battered by African American men. For her study, Richie concentrates on a group of 37 women detained at Rikers Island, who come from a background of poverty and physical and emotional abuse. Richie claims that their experiences represent the extreme of what many African American women undergo as a result of marginalization and hard choices. Throughout she emphasizes her theory of gender entrapment, whereby society provides these women?most of whom want to conform to societal norms?with no socially acceptable way to change their position, making incarceration almost inevitable. Many of the interviewees were determined not to speak out against African American men, believing that their partners already have fewer opportunities than they do. Others believe that, having participated in criminal acts, they are prohibited from taking advantage of social programs designed to help battered women. Although often academically dry and statistical, Richie's book still allows ample room for the women's compelling life histories. She does not, however, offer suggestions for solutions. Hope doesn't illuminate this book?just cold, hard facts.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The specific foux of the justice system's influence on black female vulnerablity makes for an unusually exact title which analyzes male violence, penalties for women's actions, and paths which lead to crime. Recommended for anyone studying gender, race, and social influences upon crime.The Bookwatch
Richie' gem of a book, Compelled to Crime
, offers a compelling explanation of how some women end up involved in crime. But the book is rich with much more than criminal justice theory. It is an example of rigorous, high-quality qualitative research, and professional writing which dazzles rather than drones. It's a great read.Association for Women in Psychology Newsletter