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Out in the Storm
Drug-Addicted Women Living as Shoplifters and Sex Workers
Gail A. Caputo



Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law

Northeastern University Press
2008 • 240 pp. 6 x 9"
Criminology / Sociology / Women's Studies

$27.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-696-1
$60.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-695-4

(Cloth edition is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)



Out in the Storm provides a voice for a population of women whose voices were previously unheard. Through their narratives, Caputo provides a unique comparative analysis to disaggregate women offenders and understand the similarities and differences of women who engage in different types of crime as a means to support themselves and their addictions. As such, Out in the Storm is a useful resource for students, scholars, practitioners, and advocates alike who are interested in criminology, particularly with respect to pathways to crime, criminal careers, class and gender in crime, and drug and alcohol studies.”—Gender & Society

Women navigating life in drugs and crime

Based on interview material and life histories that create a vivid narrative, this remarkable volume is the culmination of three years of ethnographic research examining thirty-eight women with drug addictions in the Philadelphia area who took up criminal occupations of shoplifting and sex work. It provides in-depth criminological analysis of drug addiction and female criminality in addition to the sociology of crime work and occupations. Because most of the women interviewed are poor African-Americans raised and living in socially and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, Caputo pays particular attention to gender, class, and other systems of status in the complex interactions between women’s lives, drug addiction, and criminality. Out in the Storm reveals similarities and differences in pathways women take to drug addiction and particular crimes and illustrates how women manage both the business and risks of crime in urban drug cultures.

Caputo devotes careful attention to the technical and organizational aspects of shoplifting and sex work and is equally sensitive to nuance and difference among those she interviewed. While her subjects struggle to overcome much pain brought on by victimization and to live within social and economic constraints, Caputo illustrates how these women make crime work and demonstrates how they can — and do — make choices. With her analysis of shoplifting, Caputo provides rich, new insight into one of society’s most compelling social problems and challenges the overly sexualized portrayal of women’s crime. Unique in bringing together data on substance abuse, shoplifters, and sex workers, this volume will be an essential resource for scholars, activists, and practitioners with expertise or interest in criminological theory, urban poverty, women’s studies, youth crime, the sociology of work and occupations, the sociology of education, and addiction.

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Endorsements:

“Gail Caputo has helped fill a major research gap and provides us with rich, new insight into one of society’s most compelling social problems. I am also deeply impressed by her methodology. Her qualitative approach is unique and it generated data that cannot possibly be uncovered by mainstream survey research. The voices of the women she interviewed need to be heard.”—Walter DeKeseredy, Professor of Criminology, Justice, and Policy Studies, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

“I was quickly drawn into this book, reading it cover to cover rather than flipping through it as I planned. It is a fascinating ethnographic study of a group of women who have been understudied. I was particularly interested in the work on shoplifters; women who made relatively large amounts of money bypassing the traditional route of fences and men in general.”—Martin D. Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, Ohio University



GAIL A. CAPUTO is Assistant Professor of Criminology at Rutgers University.






Fri, 8 Aug 2014 12:00:24 -0500