My life’s a bit busy at the moment with not much time for considered blogging. Forgive me if, for a little while, I post interesting titbits without much commentary (better, I think, than posting nothing at all, or posting ill-considered commentary).
Three articles caught my eye in the latest issue of The Social Science Journal. The first is on homicide in the US South:
A significant literature has evolved in the last 40 years investigating regional variation in lethal violence, with most studies focusing on Southern homicide rates…. We investigate regional variations in the effects of resource deprivation on White homicide in rural areas—a context in which the Southern culture of violence should be most prominent….The results of our county-level analyses of census and homicide data around the year 2000 reveal that White homicide rates are higher in Confederate South states and that resource deprivation has a positive association with White homicide. The effect of resource deprivation also accounts for the Confederate South effect, and an interaction model indicates that the effect of this variable is significantly stronger in the non-South as predicted by the attenuation argument. Overall, these results suggest that both structural and cultural forces contribute to rural White homicide rates.
- Reference: Matthew R. Lee, Timothy C. Hayes and Shaun A. Thomas (2008). Regional variation in the effect of structural factors on homicide in rural areas. The Social Science Journal 45(1):76-94
Next up, an article on “the degree to which individuals’ perceptions of concrete events of harassment and violence mirror the interpretive frameworks offered by proponents of hate crime legislation”:
… Specifically, the study examines the determinants of definitions of hate crime and perceptions of seriousness, focusing on both incident-level and respondent-level variables. Using data from a multilevel factorial survey gathered from a sample of undergraduates, I find a general alignment between the political construction of hate crimes and college student perceptions of incidents of harassment and violence, although sensitivity to hate crimes varies by witness demographic and attitudinal characteristic.
- Reference: Christopher J. Lyons, (2008). Individual perceptions and the social construction of hate crimes: A factorial survey. The Social Science Journal 45(1):107-131
Finally, J. Keith Price and Gary R. Byrd attempt to answer the question of whether capital murderers (murderers who are executed) are “more likely to murder or commit other violent crimes again” if they had not been executed, compared to “other murderers or the average citizen”:
… To answer these questions, many states require a prediction of future dangerousness of a newly convicted murderer. To what extent has the judgment of future dangerousness matched actuarial data of subsequent murders and serious crimes? Using a secondary analysis, this investigation attempted to assemble available data of postconviction dangerousness of death sentenced capital murderers to create a more comprehensive actuarial account of subsequent dangerousness and to present the data in a common format used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Across 14 studies identified with relevant data, there were 13 instances of subsequent murder and 462 serious crime or prison rule violations.
- Reference: J. Keith Price and Gary R. Byrd (2008). Secondary analysis of dangerousness among death sentenced capital murderers. The Social Science Journal 45(1): 173-181