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  • Lawrence D. Bobo (a1)


Todd R. Clear, Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. 255 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-538720-9. Paper, $21.95.

Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets. New York: Penguin Press, 2008. 303 pages, ISBN: 978-1-59420-150-9. Cloth, $25.95.

In recent years, sociologists have conducted enormously important research on the intersection of urban poverty, crime, and the racial divide. Quantitative stratification sociologist Bruce Western provides a meticulous tracing of the emergence of mass incarceration, tracking its steady development and identifying how and why—both economically and politically—this trend has fallen so heavily on low-income Black communities (Western 2006). Quantitative stratification sociologist Devah Pager carries out remarkably innovative and compelling field experiments showing the terrible toll incarceration takes on the employment prospects and, therefore, the greater life chances of former felons, particularly those who are Black (Pager 2007). And the combined efforts of quantitative criminologist Chris Uggen and quantitative political sociologist Jeff Manza reveal the extraordinary distortion of our local and national politics that results from the practice of felon disfranchisement (Manza and Uggen, 2006).


Corresponding author

Professor Lawrence D. Bobo, Department of Sociology, William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail:


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Bobo, Lawrence D. and Thompson, Victor (2006). Unfair by Design: The War on Drugs, Race, and the Legitimacy of the Criminal Justice System. Social Research, 73(2): 445472.
Bobo, Lawrence D. and Thompson, Victor (Forthcoming). Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment. In Markus, Hazel Rose and Moya, Paula (Eds.), Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century. New York: Norton.
Brunson, Rod K. (2007). ‘Police Don't Like Black People’: African-American Young Men's Accumulated Police Experiences. Criminology & Public Policy, 6(1): 71102.
Brunson, Rod K. and Miller, Jody (2006). Young Black Men and Urban Policing in the United States. British Journal of Criminology, 46: 613640.
Garland, David (2001). The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gladwell, Malcolm (2002). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Gladwell, Malcolm (2005). Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Gladwell, Malcolm (2008). Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Gregory, Steven (1998). Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hagan, John, Shedd, Carla, and Payne, Monique R. (2005). Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Perceptions of Criminal Injustice. American Sociological Review, 70: 381407.
Hurwitz, Jon and Peffley, Mark (2005). Explaining the Great Racial Divide: Perceptions of Fairness in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. Journal of Politics, 67: 762783.
Jankowski, Martin Sanchez (1991). Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Manza, Jeff and Uggen, Christopher (2006). Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.
McCall, Nathan (1994). Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America. New York: Vintage.
Newman, Katherine S. (1999). No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City. New York: Knopf.
Pager, Devah (2007). Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Smith, Sandra Susan (2007). Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Stack, Carol (1974). All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community. New York: Harper & Row.
Venkatesh, Sudhir Alladi (2000). American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Venkatesh, Sudhir Alladi (2006). Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wacquant, Loic (2001). Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh. Punishment and Society, 3: 95134.
Weitzer, Ronald and Tuch, Steven A. (2006). Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Western, Bruce (2006). Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Wilson, William Julius (1996). When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. New York: Knopf.
Wilson, William Julius (2009). More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City. New York: Norton.
Young, Alford (2004). The Minds of Marginalized Black Men: Making Sense of Mobility, Opportunity, and Future Life Chances. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
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