Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sociology and Civil Unrest in Baltimore

The Everyday Sociology Blog has a recent post on the coverage of civil unrest in Baltimore. While the news media generally focuses on the violent aspects, Karen Sternheimer reminds us to look at the situation from a sociological perspective.

While there are many explanations that can help us understand these events, here are some of the connections my students made, drawing from what they learned about social inequality as well as the criminal justice system:
  1. A sense that there are no consequences for police brutality
  2. The recent history of mass incarceration and the criminalization of low-income people
  3. Joblessness, poverty, and limited economic opportunity
  4. Coverage of violence drowns out legitimate grievances
  5. Racism hasn’t disappeared

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