CRSP Lecture Will Examine Racial Profiling of Consumers

Issue Date: 
October 8, 2007

Black consumers face discrimination and hostility while simply shopping for basic necessities, according to a noted criminologist and author.

Shaun Gabbidon, professor of criminal justice at Penn State University, calls it “shopping under suspicion.”

Gabbidon will deliver his findings in a lecture from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), 2017 Cathedral of Learning. CRSP is part of the School of Social Work.

The talk, titled “Shopping Under Suspicion: Consumer Racial Profiling and Perceived Victimization,” is free and open to the public and registration is not required. Lunch will be provided at the event, which is part of the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney 2007 Speaker Series.

“For good reason, over the past decade, social science researchers, police agencies, politicians, funding agencies, and citizens have centered their attention on racial profiling that occurs in automobiles and during traffic stops,” Gabbidon said. “Unfortunately, this focus has left many unaware of another setting in which racial profiling is also likely to occur—retail establishments.”

His presentation will argue for a paradigm shift in racial profiling research and offer suggestions for how people who have experienced such profiling should respond.

Prior to his appointment at Penn State, Gabbidon served as an adjunct assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Baltimore and assistant professor of criminal justice at Coppin State University.

His latest book, to be published by Sage Publications in spring 2008, is titled Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice: An International Dilemma.

His other recent books include Criminological Perspectives on Race and Crime (Routledge, 2007) and W.E.B. Du Bois on Crime and Justice: Laying the Foundations of Sociological Criminology (Ashgate, 2007).

Gabbidon earned his master’s degree in criminal justice at the University of Baltimore and his doctorate in criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a fellow at Harvard University’s W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research.

In 2005, the American Society of Criminology’s Division on People of Color and Crime presented him with its highest award, the Coramae R. Mann Award, for contributions to the study of race, crime, and justice.

For more information about the lecture, call CRSP at 412-624-7382.