Victor Rios Talk

Victor Rios

Victor Rios, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
University of California- Santa Barbara


The Mis-Education and Criminalization of Latino Boys: The Role of Schools and Culture in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Latino students experience disproportionate school discipline and punitive treatment. How do these experiences impact the lives of these students? What are the mechanisms behind this negative and punitive treatment? What policies and practices can be used to intervene in this school-to-prison pipeline? This talk discusses the racialized culture of control that marginalized Latino high school students encounter. Based on findings from a recently completed two-year School Ethnography, Rios shows how a culture of control impacts cultural frames and resources relied upon by marginalized students. By shadowing young people through the school-to-prison pipeline Rios finds that educators and law enforcement mark these young people as dangerous or at-risk, misunderstand their cultural worlds, and punish them for petty infractions. Once they have been "misframed" and accumulate negative credentials, they are subject to increased surveillance—and are consequently more likely to end up in the criminal justice system. Rios terms this process the "youth control complex" showing how it strips young people of their dignity and their ability to succeed at school or in the job market. This talk demonstrates how this punitive social control alters cultural processes, pushing young people into the very criminality that punishment is meant to deter. Rios argues that top-down policy measures are often ineffectual in loosely coupled institutions like schools and instead proposes culturally responsive measures for reversing the school-to-prison pipeline by improving school climate and day-to-day interactions between educators and students.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
10:00 - 11:30am
SS 204