Violence And Aggression In Today's Society

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Violence and Aggression in Today's Society

Violence and Aggression in Today's Society - Is the Main Reason Why Crime Is Up


Prior research examining between community variations in violent crime has largely been guided by the social disorganization perspective and the systemic model of community attachment. This literature supports a strong relation between structural resource deprivation, residential instability, and rates of violent crime. In communities where poverty, unemployment, and broken families are geographically concentrated and home ownership and length of residence are relatively low, levels of violent crime are exacerbated. This dissertation extends prior research by focusing on variation in the nature or quality of violence rather than crime rates or quantities. While many analyses explore variations in rates of crime, few have focused on understanding the contextual level predictors of variation in the relative prevalence of race specific forms of violence. The current study addresses this gap by elaborating a theoretical model that links characteristics of the contextual environment to variations in the prevalence of intra and interracial violence. It is proffered that concentrated disadvantage and residential stability decrease opportunities for fortuitous interracial associations which, in turn, reduce the likelihood that violent crime will involve actors from different race groups. Further, it is predicted that residential racial heterogeneity will increase opportunities for interracial contact and will thus be associated with an increase in the likelihood that violence will be interracial. The model is tested by merging crime data from the National Incident Based Reporting System with data on county characteristics culled from the U.S. Census. Nonlinear multilevel regression analyses provide strong support for the predicted pattern of relations between structural features of communities and the relative prevalence of race specific forms of violence. In communities with higher levels of structural disadvantage and residential stability violent crimes are relatively less likely to be interracial in nature. Conversely, violence that occurs in racially heterogeneous residential environments has an increased probability of being interracial. Analyses also reveal significant disparities in the contextual level correlates of black as compared to white intra-racial violence. The relevance of these findings and implications for criminological theory, future empirical research, and public policy are discussed in the concluding chapter.

Table of Contents




Background of Study6

Purpose of the Study10

Problem of the Study10

Rational of Study10

Limitations of The study13


Literature Review And Theoretical Framework18

Macro Structural Opportunity Theory and Interracial Violence20

The Roots of the Social Disorganization Perspective28

Social Disorganization, Concentrated Disadvantage, and Racial Differences in Violence31

Systemic Disorganization and Violence46



Data, Measures, Descriptive Analysis, And Methods57

Units of Analysis and Data Sources57

Dependent Variables: Intra vs. Inter Race Violence60

Independent Variables62

Primary Explanatory Variables - Contextual Factors62

Data Reduction64

Contextual Level Control Measures66

Incident Level Control Measures66

Descriptive Analysis68

Dependent Variables68


Analysis Of Interracial Violence72



Chapter 5:84

Discussion And Conclusion84

Community Level Covariates of Violence: Quantity vs. Quality84

Findings from the Study86

Limitations of the Study92



Sociologists, criminologists, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and the public have long been concerned with the effects that certain characteristics of contextual environments may have on disorder, crime, and violence. Beginning with the human ecology model pioneered by Thomas and Znanieki (1920), Park ...
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