chapter  4
12 Pages

Getting Crime Right

Framing everyday violence in the age of Trump
ByElliott Currie

In this chapter I’d like to talk about how we can best go about the task of framing the issue of crime—or more specifically, what I’ll call “everyday violence”—in this deeply troubling and often perplexing political time. By “everyday violence” I mean the routine interpersonal harm that is suffered by people on the streets and in their homes. That’s not, of course, the only kind of violence, or the only kind of harm that’s inflicted on people around the world: but it is an important one, and one that profoundly impacts the lives of many of the people who are also most dispossessed and disadvantaged in other ways. I want to focus on everyday violence partly because it is the kind of violence that I know most about, but more importantly, because I am deeply worried about the way we are often framing our response to this issue. By “we,” I mean not just progressive criminologists and other scholars—but also others who think of themselves as liberals or progressives (I will focus here mostly on the United States, since that is the country I know best, but I think the issues I’ll raise are relevant for other countries as well), most of whom are appalled by the recent political turn in the country and want to be able to envision a different future.