Moral panic and the social construction of deviance: images of Latinos images of crime

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2000-01-01
Authors
Dettman, Martha
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Sociology
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Immigration issues have been at the forefront throughout history in the United States, contributing not only to population growth, but also creating greater amounts of diversity. It is estimated that if the current trends in immigration and birth rates continue the number of U.S residents who are Latino or nonwhite will have more than doubled to nearly 115 million by the year 2020. This phenomenon is highly evident in the Midwest, a region traditionally characterized by a homogenous white Anglo European population. Information pertaining to immigration and non-European ethnic diversity in the Midwest does exist, however there is limited information pertaining to its presence in rural areas. Hence, this study proposes to research a small rural community in Northeast Iowa that has experienced the establishment of an immigrant Latino community within the past decade. The study focuses on how perceptions of Latino deviance are formed by the insiders (non-Latinos) of the community and how those perceptions affect attitudes towards Latinos, and consequently, the integration process of Latinos.

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