The Impact of Immigration on Ethnic-Specific Violence: Identifying Individual and Community Characteristics in Miami

Ramiro Martinez, Jr., Florida International University

ABSTRACT
While much research has been conducted on the nature and extent of the relationship between race (e.g. White and Black) and violent behavior, few studies have explored the nature and extent of this relationship among Latinos and even fewer have done so in an Afro-Caribbean population. Therefore, this paper seeks to address one gap in the literature by investigating violence among Latino and Haitian populations. The importance of this study is further magnified because it will also examine possible disparate effects at the level of analysis, such as between individuals or in communities, on violence. The failure to correct for this latter issue is important since the relationship between ethnicity and violence may vary greatly when we examine individual level incidents versus exposure to violence at the community level. To address these issues I examine the nature and extent of violence victimization (e.g. aggravated assault and armed robbery) within a multiethnic population (White, Latino, African American and Haitian) in the city of Miami, Florida. The focus is on what dimensions of community context, including levels of immigration, help to limit the extent of assaultive and instrumental violence? Does ethnicity similarly influence various types of non-lethal violence (e.g. acquaintance, family, stranger and intimate)? In sum, does ethnicity matter?

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Updated 05/20/2006