Contests of Honor: Exploring the Situational Characteristics of Gang Motivated Homicides

Gini Deibert, University of Texas - Austin
Shannan M. Catalano, University of Missouri - St. Louis

Previous research has explored the concept of honor or character contests as a possible dimension of dispute related homicides. This study explores the similarities between gang-motivated homicides and non-gang homicides as they pertain to the concept of honor. The situational characteristics of gang-motivated homicides may not be intrinsically different from other forms of homicides; however, there may be some aspect of life in a gang that makes these type of honor initiated homicides more prevalent but not necessarily unique among all homicides. This study uses data collected from all St. Louis homicides between 1990-1995, and examines whether the characteristics surrounding participation in a gang facilitate the incidence of 'honor contests'.

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Updated 05/20/2006