The dark side of the ivory tower : campus crime as a social problem


The dark side of the ivory tower : campus crime as a social problem

John J. Sloan III, Bonnie S. Fisher

Cambridge University Press, 2011

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



A cursory reading of the history of US colleges and universities reveals that campus crime has been part of collegiate life since the Colonial Era, yet it was not until the late 1980s that it suddenly became an issue on the public stage. Drawing from numerous mass media and scholarly sources and using a theoretical framework grounded in social constructionism, this text chronicles how four groups of activists - college student advocates, feminists, victims and their families, and public health experts - used a variety of tactics and strategies to convince the public that campus crime posed a new danger to the safety and security of college students and the ivory tower itself, while simultaneously convincing policymakers to take action against the problem. Readers from a range of disciplinary interests will find the book both compelling and valuable to understanding campus crime as a newly constructed social reality.


  • 1. Violence, vice, and victimization on American college and university campuses: a brief history lesson
  • 2. Constructing campus crime as a new social problem
  • 3. Constructing unsafe and violent college campuses
  • 4. Constructing the sexual victimization of college women on campus
  • 5. Constructing postsecondary institutional liability for campus crime
  • 6. Constructing binge drinking on college campuses
  • 7. The legacy of claimsmakers: institutionalizing the dark side of the ivory tower.

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