Stratified Labor Markets and Disaggregated Violence: A Look at the Intersection Between Race and Gender in the Urban Context

Karen F. Parker, University of Florida

The industrial shift, which led to the removal of manufacturing jobs from urban communities, was felt differently along race and gender lines (see Wilson and Wu 1993; Smith and Tienda 1987). For instance, although there have been gains in service oriented jobs in many urban areas, the substantial decrease in jobs at the manufacturing level directly impacted blacks, particularly black females, who were among those primarily employed by this sector (Tienda et. al 1987). Yet the consequences associated with this industrial shift on race- and gender-specific groups have yet to be explored. That is, while studies reveal that the level of urban disadvantage is felt differently along race lines, which contributes to the disparities in race-specific homicide rates, researchers have neglected to consider existing gender inequalities in combination with racial arguments to explore disaggregated homicide rates. After generating detailed race and gender-specific measures of labor market stratification and industrial restructuring, we estimate the impact of labor market stratification on disaggregated rates of urban homicide. We propose a dynamic model that suggests the differences in homicides rates for race- and gender-specific groups are due to the stratification faced in local labor markets opportunities and resulting disadvantages (including gender inequalities) in the urban context.

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Updated 05/20/2006