Racial/Ethnic Composition and Violence: Size-of-Place Variations in Percent Black and Percent Latino Effects on Violence Rates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to racial invariance positions and mainstream sociological perspectives on race and crime, race differences in structural conditions should account for most if not all of the racial composition (or percent black) effect on aggregate-level violence rates. However, prior research (mostly conducted prior to 1990) generally provides mixed or contrary evidence for this position, showing instead that greater concentrations of blacks are linked to increased violence even after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic conditions. The current study uses recent data and a novel unit of analysis to go beyond extant research in two ways. First, we include percent Latino in our examination of the extent to which both racial and ethnic composition effects on violent crime rates are mediated by racial/ethnic disparities in socioeconomic disadvantage. Second, we test whether racial/ethnic composition effects are conditioned by size of place, through the use of census places as a uniquely varying unit of analysis. We find that both black and Latino composition effects are partly explained by controlling for structural conditions (especially structural disadvantage), but this characterizes smaller places much more than the largest, most urbanized places.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-841
Number of pages31
JournalSociological Forum
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Fingerprint

violence
crime rate
violent crime
census
offense
examination
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

@article{b2a6337e71ff4b99a4684a73cb0e7788,
title = "Racial/Ethnic Composition and Violence: Size-of-Place Variations in Percent Black and Percent Latino Effects on Violence Rates",
abstract = "According to racial invariance positions and mainstream sociological perspectives on race and crime, race differences in structural conditions should account for most if not all of the racial composition (or percent black) effect on aggregate-level violence rates. However, prior research (mostly conducted prior to 1990) generally provides mixed or contrary evidence for this position, showing instead that greater concentrations of blacks are linked to increased violence even after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic conditions. The current study uses recent data and a novel unit of analysis to go beyond extant research in two ways. First, we include percent Latino in our examination of the extent to which both racial and ethnic composition effects on violent crime rates are mediated by racial/ethnic disparities in socioeconomic disadvantage. Second, we test whether racial/ethnic composition effects are conditioned by size of place, through the use of census places as a uniquely varying unit of analysis. We find that both black and Latino composition effects are partly explained by controlling for structural conditions (especially structural disadvantage), but this characterizes smaller places much more than the largest, most urbanized places.",
author = "Ben Feldmeyer and Steffensmeier, {Darrell J.} and Ulmer, {Jeffrey Todd}",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/socf.12058",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "811--841",
journal = "Sociological Forum",
issn = "0884-8971",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Racial/Ethnic Composition and Violence

T2 - Size-of-Place Variations in Percent Black and Percent Latino Effects on Violence Rates

AU - Feldmeyer, Ben

AU - Steffensmeier, Darrell J.

AU - Ulmer, Jeffrey Todd

PY - 2013/12/1

Y1 - 2013/12/1

N2 - According to racial invariance positions and mainstream sociological perspectives on race and crime, race differences in structural conditions should account for most if not all of the racial composition (or percent black) effect on aggregate-level violence rates. However, prior research (mostly conducted prior to 1990) generally provides mixed or contrary evidence for this position, showing instead that greater concentrations of blacks are linked to increased violence even after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic conditions. The current study uses recent data and a novel unit of analysis to go beyond extant research in two ways. First, we include percent Latino in our examination of the extent to which both racial and ethnic composition effects on violent crime rates are mediated by racial/ethnic disparities in socioeconomic disadvantage. Second, we test whether racial/ethnic composition effects are conditioned by size of place, through the use of census places as a uniquely varying unit of analysis. We find that both black and Latino composition effects are partly explained by controlling for structural conditions (especially structural disadvantage), but this characterizes smaller places much more than the largest, most urbanized places.

AB - According to racial invariance positions and mainstream sociological perspectives on race and crime, race differences in structural conditions should account for most if not all of the racial composition (or percent black) effect on aggregate-level violence rates. However, prior research (mostly conducted prior to 1990) generally provides mixed or contrary evidence for this position, showing instead that greater concentrations of blacks are linked to increased violence even after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic conditions. The current study uses recent data and a novel unit of analysis to go beyond extant research in two ways. First, we include percent Latino in our examination of the extent to which both racial and ethnic composition effects on violent crime rates are mediated by racial/ethnic disparities in socioeconomic disadvantage. Second, we test whether racial/ethnic composition effects are conditioned by size of place, through the use of census places as a uniquely varying unit of analysis. We find that both black and Latino composition effects are partly explained by controlling for structural conditions (especially structural disadvantage), but this characterizes smaller places much more than the largest, most urbanized places.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84888024405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84888024405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/socf.12058

DO - 10.1111/socf.12058

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84888024405

VL - 28

SP - 811

EP - 841

JO - Sociological Forum

JF - Sociological Forum

SN - 0884-8971

IS - 4

ER -