American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 125–145 | Cite as

Macrostructural Opportunity and Violent Crime: The Impact of Social Structure on Inter- and Intra-Racial Violence

  • Michele StaceyEmail author


Researchers have examined the correlates of inter-group relationships, relying heavily on Blau’s (The American Journal of Sociology, 83, 26–54, 1977) macrostructural opportunity theory. The results of these studies have given mixed support for the relationship between social structure and inter-racial violence. This study builds on existing research on inter-group violence by examining what social structural correlates may influence intra- and inter-group violence using the macrostructural opportunity theory as a guiding framework. Data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System as well as the American Community Survey are utilized to construct a large sample of counties across the United States. The findings provide mixed support for Blau’s hypotheses, with heterogeneity and segregation showing some effects on inter-group violence, while racial inequality remains largely a non-significant predictor.


Inter-racial crime Violence Macrostructural opportunity 


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Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and SciencesEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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