WCPC Seminar: Callie Burt, “Racial Discrimination, Racial Socialization, and Crime…”


The West Coast Poverty Center’s Seminar will be featuring UW Sociology’s Professor Callie Burt, presenting her paper titled, “Racial Discrimination, Racial Socialization, and Crime: A Social Schematic Theory of Risk and Resilience across the Life Course.” 



Dr. Callie Burt, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UW

  • When: Monday, October 17th
  • Where: School of Social Work, Room 305A
  • Time: 12:30 to 1:30pm, with Q&A until 2pm

Paper Abstract: Compelling scholarship explicates the ways in which macro-level patterns of racial stratification increase the risk of crime and decrease the likelihood of educational and economic success among racial minorities. In the present work, Dr. Burt focuses on understanding how the micro-level processes that subtend and sustain inequality shape development among African-American youths in way that increase the likelihood of crime and decrease the likelihood of conventional success. Specifically, this work focuses on interpersonal discrimination as a risk factor for crime and familial racial socialization as a resilience factor and seeks to conceptually trace the criminogenic effects of racial discrimination experienced in childhood and adolescence on the structuring of the life course in ways that influence the likelihood of criminal offending, highlighting both social and cognitive developmental pathways and their interplay.

In doing so, this project draws upon Simons and Burt’s (2011) social schematic theory of crime and key ideas from life-course and interactional theories to delineate a life-course model of racial discrimination and crime. This model explicates the links between racial discrimination, offending, and involvement and success in various life-course fields (educational, employment, relationship).

Thus in addition to increasing the likelihood of crime, this model details the mechanisms through which interpersonal racial discrimination decreases the likelihood of educational and occupational success and satisfaction. Recognizing the resilience of African American youth to racial discrimination, this project takes a strength approach to African American families and cultures and considers the protective effects of familial racial socialization.

After documenting the resilience effects of two forms of racial socialization–preparation for bias and cultural socialization–this study reveals that these two proactive and protective forms of racial socialization reduce the enduring negative effects of discrimination on crime in part by counteracting and weakening the effect of racial discrimination on involvement and success in conventional institutions in a

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