Does the relationship between poverty and homicide vary by region? Testing the southern subculture of violence thesis with recent city-level data

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Description: This paper is a partial replication of Messner's well-cited 1983 article on poverty/inequality and urban homicide rates. Messner found that poverty did not have a significant relationship with homicide within the southern region (although it did have a significant relationship within the non-South). Messner concluded that the relative weakness of poverty's effect in the South was suggestive of a southern subculture. Because the South has changed demographically since Messner's analysis, the current study reexamined potential regional differences in poverty's effect using recent data. Regression results for a sample of 106 non-southern and 64 southern cities were contrary to Messner's earlier results. Poverty was found to have a significant, regionally distinct, effect on homicide rates in the South. Poverty did not have any significant effect on homicide rates in the non-South. This finding supports the idea that the South is a changing region.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work