"Snitches end up in ditches" and other cautionary tales

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32 Scopus citations


This article examines the "stop snitching" phenomenon in relation to teenagers and schooling. It shows evidence of a code against sharing information with formal authorities among students at two low-income schools: a predominately Black, urban school and a predominately White, rural school. Using Bourdieu's concept of habitus, the analysis demonstrates how antisnitching is woven into the social fabric of these communities, prompting student ambivalence toward school-sanctioned methods of conflict resolution. The findings highlight the broad reach of the antisnitching phenomenon, situating this mentality as the result of community-based distrust of formal authority. The article assesses implications of antisnitching for school discipline and climate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-272
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • criminalization
  • habitus
  • rural education
  • school discipline
  • urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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