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Chapter 18: Hate Crime
The systematic study of hate crime presents an array of conceptual and methodological challenges. This chapter reviews the extant literature, identifies gaps, and proposes potential avenues for future empirical and theoretical extensions. We begin by discussing the concept of hate crime, explicating its definition and measurement. We next review the literature's attempts to establish bias motivation by examining perpetrators’ psychological traits or by analyzing offenders’ behaviors during the commission of hate crimes. We then consider contextual accounts that draw attention to offenders’ social environment as well as to such macro-causal factors as political, historical-cultural, sociological, and economic circumstances that have been put forth in the explanation of hate crime. We conclude by suggesting theoretical and empirical syntheses of these diverse research programs.