Family, Work, and Crime: An Examination of Labor Stratification in the Lives of Women

Kristin A. Bates, California State University - San Marcos
Robert Crutchfield, University of Washington

Crutchfield's (1989, 1997) adaptation of dual labor market theory posits that neighborhoods in which a significant percentage of the population works in the secondary labor market will have higher crime rates. Crutchfield and Pitchford (1997) examine individuals and their personal work histories in order to make the connection between neighborhood characteristics and personal opportunities to be involved in a "situation of company". They find that dual labor market theory is, indeed, supported at the micro level, too. However, in analyses not presented in their paper, Crutchfield and Pitchford (1997) find that the dual labor market theory as applied to criminal involvement is not as effective at predicting female crime, most specifically black female crime, as it is at predicting male involvement in crime. This presentation will address the differing ability of this theory to predict female criminality by extending dual labor market theory to include work measures specific to female work experiences. In addition, given the work/family interactions that exist for women, we will be examining the effect of family on female criminality. The data used in these analyses are from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY) Labor Market Experience.

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Updated 05/20/2006