Economic Downturns and Unequal Victims
A recent study of shifts in crime against Latinos has stated that Latinos are more vulnerable to crime resulting from economic downturns than white people (Lauritsen & Heimer, 2010). It found that a bad economy was associated with more crime generally from 1973 to 2005. Robbery and aggravated assault against white men by strangers changed less with the economy than the same crimes against Latino and black men, however—Latinos were particularly vulnerable to increased violence during recessions and periods of economic pessimism.
Other researchers used the occasion of this study’s publication as an opportunity to raise methodological questions and to call for more research that (variously) articulates a relationship between victims and perpetrators, considers crime through the lens of inequality, and routinely disaggregates Latinos from other ethnic and racial groups (Land & Zheng, 2010; Warren, 2010; Martinez Jr., 2010).
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