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NCJ Number: 204765 Find in a Library
Title: Long-Term Trends in Crimes of Violence (Comment on Cooney, 2003)
Journal: Criminology  Volume:41  Issue:4  Dated:November 2003  Pages:1407-1418
Author(s): David F. Greenberg
Editor(s): Robert J. Bursik Jr.
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 12
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents a critical response to Mark Cooney’s (2003) analysis of long-term trends in crimes of violence, specifically the privatization of violence.
Abstract: In 2003, Mark Cooney argued and examined the evidence for the evolutionary claim that violence has become more individualized and intimate, hence, the “privatization of violence.” Studies in the 1990's found a large increase in the percentage of intimate homicide victims in Amsterdam for the period of 1651-1810 which was consistent with the upward trend claimed by Cooney, as well as others. However, these percentages tend to be unreliable due to medieval and early modern English records not generally identifying step-relations, family relationships, or master-servant and master-apprenticeship relationships. Descriptions to identify a domestic relationship can sometimes be missing. In addition, the Amsterdam percentages were based on trials and the sample size of 34 cases was small. Cooney had also indicated that he wished to exclude predatory violence from consideration; however, the evidence on which he rests his conclusions about the decline in the number of coparticipants in violent crime consists of tabulations that include these crimes. The author suggests that in order to make progress in understanding the trends in violent crime, it is important to specify the timing of changes in levels and patterns of crime, as well as incorporate factors into the analysis that are not included in Cooney’s discussion, such as demographic, medical care, and gender. References
Main Term(s): Violence
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Criminology; Violence causes
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