Racial context and police force size: Evaluating the empirical validity of the minority threat perspective

Brian J. Stults, Eric P. Baumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior studies demonstrating a relationship between racial context and levels of crime control have not explicitly examined the factors that may account for this relationship. The authors advance the literature by examining whether geographic differences in black economic and political threat explain the effects of %black and racial segregation on police size. They also examine the potential mediating roles of whites' fear of crime and antiblack prejudice. The results show that whites' fear and perceived economic threat account for more than one-third of the effect of %black on police size. They also find a significant positive effect of segregation on police size that is not accounted for by the intervening mechanisms considered. The findings are partially consistent with the minority threat perspective, but also suggest that it does not fully explain the link between racial context and crime control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-546
Number of pages40
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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