This chapter examines how crime becomes a lens for understanding and articulating socioeconomic decline. The chapter starts by contextualizing the contemporary politics of gun carry within broader historical processes of socioeconomic decline and racial inequality in Michigan, particularly Metro Detroit. Situating in-depth interview data alongside the rise and fall of Michigan’s automotive industry and the social and economic marginalization of African Americans over the twentieth century, it examines how gun carriers experience decline as a breakdown in social controls, which is in turn articulated as a crisis of crime. In this context, gun carriers make sense of crime using narratives of race and class that resonate with broader insecurities associated with postindustrialization and neoliberalism.
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