This review discusses contemporary developments in qualitative research on race, crime, and criminal justice, focusing on ethnographic studies of race and policing, criminal justice, prisons, and mass incarceration. These ethnographies inform us about the day-to-day contexts in which crime, law, and punishment are produced. They help to make visible structures of power that contribute to inequality, push for a more reflexive approach to ethnography, and sophisticate our understanding of culture. A methodological paradigm has emerged that informs the research process and helps us understand the root causes and consequences of some of the most pressing issues in the United States: race and racism in the justice system, police harassment, police violence, police–community relations, antiauthoritarian social movements, crime prevention, and reentry. This body of scholarship is collectively developing a more reflexive paradigm in ethnography, which we term the sociological double-consciousness approach.


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