, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 89-110

A Move Toward Specificity: Examining Urban Disadvantage and Race-and Relationship-Specific Homicide Rates

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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to estimate the differential impact of structural conditions on race- and relationship-specific homicide rates for U.S. cities in 1990. The structural conditions commonly employed in race-specific homicide research are examined, such as job accessibility, economic deprivation, racial segregation, and racial inequality. Furthermore, four relationship categories of homicide—acquaintance, family, stranger, and intimate—are disaggregated by racial group. The detailed relationship-specific homicide rates are compared to a baseline homicide rate to determine whether structural factors associated with urban disadvantage similarly influence homicide rates across relationship types. The results indicate that differences emerge in the impact of structural conditions on homicides disaggregated by race- and relationship-specific categories. Theoretical explanations consistent with criminology and race-relations literature are discussed, as well as the potential benefits and implications for studies that pursue more meaningful and detailed classifications in homicide offending.