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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157886 Find in a Library
Title: Violence and U.S. Regional Culture
Journal: American Psychologist  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1993)  Pages:441- 449
Author(s): R E Nisbett
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 9
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of past and current regional differences in violence concludes that homicide among white males is more common in the south and in western regions of the country initially settled by southerners than in other areas.
Abstract: Solid negative evidence exists against a temperature interpretation of the difference in homicide rates. Good evidence also challenges two of the traditional cultural interpretations of southern violence: the history of slavery and the imitation of violence among blacks. In addition, regional differences in homicide are not completely explained by poverty, because southernness remains a predictor of homicide even when poverty differences between regions are taken into account. However, positive evidence exists regarding cultural differences between north and south in attitudes toward violence and responses to insults. The most theoretically interesting proposition, which is most difficult to establish, is that the south has a culture of honor with historical roots that underlies its preferences for violence. Finally, patterns of violence within the south and west are complex; rates of homicide are elevated in the rural counties and smaller towns, especially those with an agricultural economy related to animal herding. Tables and 32 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Geographic distribution of crime; Homicide causes; Violence causes
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