|This paper explores the social construction of race/ethnicity, class, gender and crime in American popular culture and in social science. The author examines the social and historical contexts in which images and stereotypes of crime and criminals enter not only academia but mainstream mass culture. The author discusses the images of race/ethnicity, class, and gender in popular culture forms such as films, television, and mystery novels and the intersection of those images and real-life crime. The author asserts that these socially constructed images have cast women of color (and sometimes women in general), racial/ethnic minority males, and the poor in the role of "outsiders" in both fiction and real-life criminal justice dramas.
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