Gang members, juvenile delinquents, and direct democracy

Lisa Marie Cacho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The amendments to adult and juvenile criminal law were both extensive and indiscriminate, imposing harsher penalties on crimes considered "gang" related, increasing penalties for certain violent or serious offenses, and requiring that more juveniles be tried as adults. This chapter examines how one of the legal challenges to Proposition 21 was presented to the public in print media, paying particular attention to how race, criminality, and whiteness have been &t;reinvented. It analyses representations of white ethnic gang members' legal challenges to the initiative. Following Silva's critique of the logic of racial exclusion, the chapter applies the way in which she reads race as an analytic and as a political strategy to demonstrate how i) race does not need to be invoked when people and places are already marked as criminal and illegal and ii) criminality is racialized and spatialized even when the bodies referenced do not neatly correspond.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReinventing Race, Reinventing Racism
EditorsJohn J Betancur, Cedric Herring
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789004227507, 9789004231559
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Critical Social Sciences
ISSN (Print)1573-4234


  • criminality
  • juvenile criminal law
  • proposition 21
  • race
  • white ethnic gang member

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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