All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Tina Kempin-Reuter

Advisory Committee Members

Douglas P Fry

Peter Verbeek

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2019

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This exploratory study expands upon information from a previously conducted pilot study involving schools from states in two regions of the United States—the Southeast and the West Coast—which compared the number of social justice organizations at four universities from every state to the number of bias incidents in each state from 2010 through 2016. While no statistically significant relationship was found, the pilot study suggested a negative relationship between the number of social justice organizations and the occurrence of hate crimes. This thesis uses data from forty-nine states and the District of Columbia to create a larger data pool consisting of the two largest public schools from each state. The data is not wholly accurate, however, due to prominent underreporting of these crimes by victims and police departments, as exemplified by the annual FBI Hate Crime Statistics Reports. Therefore, these data cannot be complete and wholly correct, but serve as an indicator for present conditions and as a basis for further future evaluation. Through both an intrinsic literature analysis of hate crime theory, legislation, and social justice and a statistical study on the relationship between hate crime and social justice, this thesis provides a call to action for reform of the Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA). This theoretical foundation emphasizes the need for mandatory participation at all law enforcement levels in order to establish a more accurate contextual framework upon which future research may be conducted. Drawing from media reports, Congressional bills, state and federal and statutes, hate crime statistics, hate crime theory, and social justice theory, this thesis analyzes the relationship between these topics in order to evaluate the effects collegiate social justice, identity, and cultural groups have on bias incidents and vice versa.

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