Nordlit (Journal)

    Activity: Editorial work and peer reviewPeer review of manuscriptsResearch


    Taking a social constructivist approach, this article builds on Anderson’s “white spaces” to analyze modern racism in the United States, using the “monsterization” of Black Americans as a case study. The article examines representations of Black Americans in media as “Criminals,” “Thugs,” and “Gangsters” that shape stereotypes of Black criminality, creating a Black Monster Discourse. This discourse identifies Black Americans as dangerous criminals, more prone to violence and aggression. I then examine how this Discourse influences policing practices and how this contributes to Black overrepresentation in the U.S. criminal justice system. I demonstrate that “monsterizing” Black American men invites police officers and the public to be more vigilant around Black Americans, more likely to perceive their behavior as suspicious, and more likely to view them as potentially dangerous. As a result, White Americans are more likely to call the police to report “suspicious” Black Americans, police officers are more likely to stop and arrest Black Americans, and, in tense situations, are more likely to use potentially lethal force against them. I conclude by briefly discussing community policing as a potential method of improving race relations between police and minority communities, and reducing the occurrence of instances like the Garner case.
    Period19 Sep 2018
    Type of journalJournal
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • black lives matter
    • blm
    • monsters
    • sociology
    • racism
    • Racism, Xenophobia, media, activism
    • racialization