Jody Miller

Jody Miller, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, is a recipient of this year’s Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, given by the American Sociological Association.

Miller’s book, “Getting Played: African-American Girls, Urban Inequality and Gendered Violence,” was selected as one of only two recipients by the Race, Class and Gender section of the ASA.

“I’m extremely honored to receive this recognition for my research,” said Miller, a resident of Richmond Heights, Mo. “Efforts to understand and ameliorate violence against African-American young women in urban communities are vitally important, and I hope this award will bring additional attention to this critical social problem.”

The book, released in 2008, is based on interviews in which teenagers described sexual assaults and gang rape, as well as general harassment and violence. They typically painted a bleak picture for young black women growing up in St. Louis.

The girls interviewed for “Getting Played” often kept such abuse to themselves due to feelings of distrust. This was confirmed by their aversion to police intervention. According to the girls, the police had a tendency to treat victims with little concern.

Throughout the book, Miller examined how the coalescence of urban neglect and gender inequality structure the young women’s risks for gendered violence. Her in-depth analysis revealed the struggles the girls endured as they attempted to navigate such dangerous terrain despite vastly inadequate social and institutional support.

New York University Press released “Getting Played: African-American Girls, Urban Inequality and Gendered Violence” in March 2008.

The American Sociological Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public. ASA gives annual awards to scholars and publication best representing the association’s mission.

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Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton