Book Review: Gender, crime, and justice: Exploring the dynamics

AuthorShon M. Reed
DOI10.1177/0734016818756484
Published date01 March 2020
Date01 March 2020
Subject MatterBook Reviews
projected a different self-narrative in their personal discussions with Susan Dewey; thus, street-
involved women understood that the ethos required a specific persona and projected the “ideal
client” to navigate the criminal justice and service alliance.
Throughout the book, Dr. Dewey provides a transparent and deeply reflective discussion of
ethical issues, which reinforce the sincerity and rich rigor of the methods, producing a mean-
ingful coherent story about professional alliance’s interactions with street-involved women in
Denver. It is a sad story of a failed alliance ethos that does not serve well either the profes-
sionals who interact with street-involved women or the street-involved women. Readers will
learn much about both groups.
Wilczak, A. (2017).
Gender, crime, and justice: Exploring the dynamics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. 291 pp. $32.50,
ISBN 9781626376595.
Reviewed by: Shon M. Reed, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA
DOI: 10.1177/0734016818756484
The concept of gender and crime is not new within criminology, but it is the one that is beginning to
garner increasing attention. Andrew Wilczak’s book, Gender, Crime, and Justice: Exploring the
Dynamics, brings the conversation of gender’s influences to the forefront and asks the readers to
question their own life experiences and how their gender influences them on a daily basis.
Chapter 1 (Studying Crime and Gender) not only provides a framework for the text itself, but also
argues for the necessity for taking a gendered approach in criminological research. Wilczak begins
the chapter by highlighting a variety of criminal cases and poses the question: how did gender affect
these individuals and their experiences with the criminal justice system and the world as a whole?
Following the presentation of these cases, an argument is made for researchers to take an intersec-
tional approach to various criminal justice issues.
Chapter 2 chronicles the journey of feminism from the women’s suffrage movement through
postmodern feminism. Throughout this chapter, Wilczak details how feminism has evolved from
looking at inequality and gender to a more intersectional approach to narratives and social issues.
The work of key theorists in second wave and postmodern feminist research, such as Chesney-Lind,
Messerschmidt, and Miller, is used to highlight this transformation.
The following chapter offers a refresher on criminological theory (i.e., control, learning, social
disorganization, strain, life course). While offering a brief overview of the different paradigms,
Wilczak lays the groundwork for examining these theories through a gendered lens. The question
posed is not whether these theories apply to both males and females but rather do males and females
experience these processes in the same way?
In Chapter 4, Wilczak utilizes the life-course perspective to describe the gendered differences
within the gender continuum. He argues that aging is a process that each individual faces regard-
less of their ethnicity, gender, or class; therefore, it is important to note how age interplays with
gender. Wilczak details the biological and social changes that occur during the life course of an
individual and how those changes may affect an individual’s decisions to engage in criminal or
delinquent behavior.
Chapters 5 through 7 take a look at criminal justice issues such as gangs and drug abuse (Chapter
5), relationship violence (Chapter 6), and sexual violence (Chapter 7) through a gendered lens.
148 Criminal Justice Review 45(1)

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