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African-American Grandmothers: Does the Gender-Entrapment Theory Apply? Essay Response to Professor Beth Richie


Jessica Dixon Weaver


Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

March 25, 2011

Wash University Journal of Law & Pol'y, Vol. 37, pp. 153, 2011
SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 113

Abstract:     
Many African-American grandmothers are entrapped by the cycle of incarceration in poor black communities. This Essay explores whether the social and economic conditions that compel battered women to commit crimes also impact their mothers - who end up raising the children they leave behind. Professor Beth Richie's theory of gender entrapment as described in her book, “Compelled to Crime,” is not limited to incarcerated women who have been victims of domestic violence. African-American grandmothers who take on the role of kinship caregivers for their grandchildren are also entrapped by a complex interplay of race, gender, and class, making them vulnerable to poverty, generational diseases, and shorter life spans. This Essay concludes by identifying potential policy and legal reforms that seek to intervene in the state's management of black family life by empowering generations of black women with emotional and economic resources.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: gender entrapment theory, African-American grandmothers, female incarceration, domestic violence, custodial grandmothers, kinship care, African-American children, Beth Richie

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Date posted: May 25, 2012 ; Last revised: April 17, 2013

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Jessica Dixon, African-American Grandmothers: Does the Gender-Entrapment Theory Apply? Essay Response to Professor Beth Richie (March 25, 2011). Wash University Journal of Law & Pol'y, Vol. 37, pp. 153, 2011; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 113. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2066072

Contact Information

Jessica Dixon Weaver (Contact Author)
Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
2147682641 (Phone)
2147683142 (Fax)
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