skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 51628 Find in a Library
Title: MYTH OF SOCIAL CLASS AND CRIMINALITY - AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
Journal: AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW  Volume:43  Issue:5  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:643-656
Author(s): C R TITLE; W J VILLEMEZ; D A SMITH
Corporate Author: American Sociological Review
Managing Editor
American Sociological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: American Sociological Review
Washington, DC 20036
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL CLASS AND CRIME/DELINQUENCY IS STUDIED USING AGE, SEX, RACE, PLACE OF RESIDENCE, OR OFFENSE AS UNITS OF ANALYSIS.
Abstract: THIRTY-FIVE STUDIES WERE REDUCED TO COMPARABLE STATISTICS ON INSTANCES WHERE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MEASURE OF INDIVIDUAL CLASS POSITION AND CRIME/DELINQUENCY INDICATORS WAS REPORTED. THE FINDINGS OF 363 INSTANCES WERE EVALUATED AND PATTERNS WERE IDENTIFIED. MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS WAS PERFORMED USING THE FOLLOWING AS INDEPENDENT OR CONTROL VARIABLES: TYPE OF SAMPLE IN THE STUDY, SIZE OF THE SAMPLE, TYPE OF PLACE WHERE THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED, SIZE OF THE AREA FROM WHICH THE SAMPLE WAS DRAWN, AREA OF THE WORLD OR COUNTRY WHERE THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED, DATE OF THE STUDY, INDICATORS OF CRIME/DELINQUENCY, AND TYPE OF DEVIANCE (MAJOR AND MINOR YOUTH OFFENSES, PERSONAL OFFENSES, PROPERTY CRIMES, VIOLENT CRIMES, AND UNDIFFERENTIATED OFFICIAL RECORDS). THE OVERALL MEAN ASSOCIATION (GAMMA) FOR THE 363 INSTANCES WAS ONLY MINUS 0.09. THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS ASSOCIATION VARIED BY TYPE OF DATA EXAMINED AND BY DECADE IN WHICH THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED. ONLY A SLIGHT NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL CLASS AND CRIMINALITY WAS OBSERVED, WITH SELF-REPORT STUDIES REFLECTING LOWER ASSOCIATIONS THAN OFFICIAL STUDIES. A CLEAR HISTORICAL DECLINE IN THE MAGNITUDE OF ASSOCIATIONS WAS FOUND, TO THE POINT WHERE BOTH SELF-REPORT AND OFFICIAL STATISTICS STUDIES CONDUCTED IN THE 1970'S REVEALED NO SOCIAL CLASS VARIATION. THIS HISTORICAL TREND IS SHOWN TO BE DUE TO CHANGES IN THE FINDINGS USING OFFICIAL STATISTICS AS INDICATORS OF CRIMINALITY. ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS ARE DISCUSSED, BUT THEY RAISE RAISE SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THE ADEQUACY OF DEVIANCE THEORIES CONTAINING ASSUMPTIONS OF CLASS DIFFERENCES. SUPPORTING TABULAR DATA AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--DEP)
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Crime patterns; Deviance; Juvenile delinquency theory; Social organization; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51628

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.