Race, Crime and Criminal Justice in Italy

  • Vincenzo Ruggiero


As a necessary premise to this contribution, it should be borne in mind that debates around ‘race’, in Italy, would be deemed racist. Likewise, ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’ are not important social categories in official crime statistics where crime and victimisation rates are generally classified, first, along the lines of two broad groups of Italian residents such as ‘Italian’ and ‘non-Italian’ and, secondly, by nationality. Even those who are indeed racist, therefore, prefer to adopt terms such as foreigners or immigrants, while most would designate the newcomers by their country of origin. This does not mean that stereotypes are avoided. On the contrary, naming people by nationality may become a shortcut leading to their faster labelling. Thus, ‘Rumanian’ may evoke notions of theft, ‘Albanian’ violence and ‘Nigerian’ prostitution (Monzini, 2005; Uba and Monzini, 2007). Nationalities, in brief, may become synonyms for specific illegal activities.


Criminal Justice System Relative Deprivation Hate Crime Criminal Group White Collar Crime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Vincenzo Ruggiero 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Ruggiero
    • 1
  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUK

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