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7 Homicide Stud. 3 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/homcst7 and id is 1 raw text is: 













    Identifying the Structural Correlates

          of   African American Killings

          What  Can  We  Learn  From   Data  Disaggregation?



                          CHARIS   E. KUBRIN
                          George Washington University
                          TIM  WADSWORTH
                          University of New Mexico



The present study extends the understanding of the structural determinants of African
American killings by analyzing the impact of key socioeconomic and demographicfactors
on disaggregated Black homicide rates in St. Louis neighborhoods. The findings reveal
that (a) there is significant variation within Black homicides in terms of motive, victim
and offender characteristics, victim-offender relationship, and type of death; (b) concen-
trated disadvantage is significantly associated with some but not all types of Black kill-
ings; and (c) residential instability is not significantly related to most Black killings but
has a small negative effect on gang homicide. The findings reinforce the necessity of
disaggregating homicide rates to understand the race-violence relationship. The theoreti-
cal, methodological, and policy implications of the findings are discussed.



Keywords:  homicide; race; neighborhood disadvantage; social disorganization

One  of the most intriguing findings from  a number   of recent studies
that examine the structural covariates of homicide rates is that
many   of the socioeconomic and demographic factors considered
are found  to have  strong  positive effects on White   homicide   rates
but weak   or nonexistent  effects on  Black rates. Most  surprising  to


   AUTHORS'  NOTE: We thank Tim Bray, Thomas Petee, and two anonymous reviewers
for comments on an earlier draft. The data used in this research come from the St. Louis
Homicide Project and were collected as part of research funded by grants from the
National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, and the National Consor-
tium on Violence Research. We thank Richard Rosenfeld, Scott Decker, Carol Kohfeld, and
John Sprague for providing us with the data. Address correspondence to Charis E. Kubrin,
Department of Sociology, George Washington University, Phillips Hall 409, 801 22nd St.
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20052.
HOMICIDE  STUDIES, Vol. 7 No. 1, February 2003 3-35
DOI: 10.1177/1088767902239241
@ 2003 Sage Publications
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