A Potential Theoretical Explanation For Hate Crimes

Nicole M. Prior, Florida State University

This paper identifies and assesses two fundamental impediments that have been encountered in the study of hate crimes, namely, the lack of a consensual definition and poor empirical data from which to draw characterizations of actual hate crimes. Despite these problems, several statistical trends have emerged concerning who is the most likely victim and who is the most likely perpetrator of these crimes. The paper suggests that these statistical trends provide support for an integrated approach for explaining hate crimes. The paper concludes with exploration of the necessary components of an integrated theory of hate crimes.

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Updated 05/20/2006