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"Snitches End Up in Ditches" and Other Cautionary Tales

NCJ Number
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2010 Pages: 254-272
Edward W. Morris
Date Published
August 2010
19 pages
This article examined the "stop snitching" phenomenon in relation to teenagers and schooling.
This article examines the "stop snitching" phenomenon in relation to teenagers and schooling. It shows evidence of a code against sharing information with formal authorities among students at two low-income schools: a predominately Black, urban school and a predominately White, rural school. Using Bourdieu's concept of habitus, the analysis demonstrates how antisnitching is woven into the social fabric of these communities, prompting student ambivalence toward school-sanctioned methods of conflict resolution. The findings highlight the broad reach of the antisnitching phenomenon, situating this mentality as the result of community-based distrust of formal authority. The article assesses implications of antisnitching for school discipline and climate. Notes and references (Published Abstract)