Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rethinking Hate Crime

Date:
September 14, 2009
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
The impact of hate crime is deep and widespread, says new research. Important new research by criminologists challenges existing stereotypes about the nature and impact of hate crime offending. While the term ‘hate crime’ conjures up images of violent acts committed by hate-fuelled extremists, the research suggests that many hate crimes are in fact lower-level forms of harassment committed by so-called ‘normal’ people who may not necessarily ‘hate’ their victim.

Important new research by criminologists at the University of Leicester challenges existing stereotypes about the nature and impact of hate crime offending. While the term ‘hate crime' conjures up images of violent acts committed by hate-fuelled extremists, the research suggests that many hate crimes are in fact lower-level forms of harassment committed by so-called ‘normal' people who may not necessarily ‘hate' their victim.

Related Articles


While the more violent examples of hate crime hit the media and receive widespread attention, the low level, everyday harassment goes unpublicised and, often, unreported, despite it having damaging and long-term consequences for victims, their families and broader communities.

Research by Dr Neil Chakraborti and Mr Jon Garland of the University of Leicester's Department of Criminology offers the most comprehensive examination to date of hate crime in a British rather than American context. The results, along with recommendations for future criminal justice policy are available in ‘Hate Crime: Impact, Causes and Responses'  published by Sage.

Dr Chakraborti says: "We would argue that hate crimes are acts of prejudice towards an individual's perceived identity. They are often believed to be ‘message crimes' designed to intimidate the victim's wider minority community. However, contrary to popular opinion, these crimes are not always carried out by right-wing political extremists. It is common for these crimes to be committed by ‘ordinary' members of the public whose prejudices may have been reinforced by the mainstreaming of far-right ideology, such as the ‘British jobs for British workers' slogan. It is also important to realise that it is not just minority ethnic or faith communities who are targeted - victims include gay and transgender communities as well as the disabled."

Through case studies, Neil and Jon's work goes on to explore why it's wrong to associate hate crime solely with violent racism, whether these crimes are motivated exclusively by hate, what types of people are responsible for committing hate crime and the merits of increased sentence tariffs for perpetrators.

Jon Garland says: "What the research suggests is that we need a deeper understanding of what hate crimes actually are, their impact on the victim, who carried them out and, crucially, how they are dealt with by the criminal justice system. There is some evidence that the policing of hate crimes has improved, with the police now prioritising the investigation of such crimes. Relations between the police and minority communities are still problematic, though, and this is one of the main reasons that the majority of hate crimes are not reported to the police. This lack of reporting makes it difficult to accurately ascertain the exact level of these crimes. What we can say is that, from our research, it appears that current levels of hate crime are having devastating effects upon victims."

The research concludes by arguing that ‘hate' is a complex and sometimes inaccurate label to describe the offences with which it is commonly associated. Nevertheless, despite these problems, there are a number of notable developments that have arisen via the hate crime agenda. For example, it can work as a ‘collective banner' around which marginalised groups in society can rally.

Linked to this, the hate crime concept draws attention to the shared vulnerabilities of all minority communities, and not just minority ethnic communities. Moreover, the practical and symbolic value of hate crime legislation as a way of reaffirming society's condemnation of prejudice should not be underestimated.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Rethinking Hate Crime." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111528.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2009, September 14). Rethinking Hate Crime. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111528.htm
University of Leicester. "Rethinking Hate Crime." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111528.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins