The Intersection of Honor and Status in Conflict-Related Intimate Partner Homicide

Elicka S.L. Peterson, Florida State University

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a discussion of the roles of status and cultural considerations of honor in partner homicide using a modification of Donald Black's self-help conceptual framework. These conclusions are based on the analysis of data from 228 intimate partner homicides committed in St. Louis, Missouri between 1980 and 1995. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to examine differences in homicide motivations by sex, race, and marital status. Results suggest that honor is the intervening mechanism by which status influences propensity to resort to lethal violence as a form of social control, at least in the case of intimate partners. Implications for policy, theoretical development, and methodological issues in measuring self-help criminality are discussed

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Updated 05/20/2006