Structural Factors and Interracial Homicide: A New Look at the Causal Process

Tim Wadsworth, University of New Mexico
Charis Kubrin, George Washington University

In this paper we use race-adjusted Supplemental Homicide data and Census data to explore the link between racial inequality and rates of interracial killing across metropolitan areas. We empirically examine the common assumption that racial conflict and antagonism mediate this link. We suggest that the motivation of the homicide, largely ignored in previous research, is crucial to understanding the mechanism by which structural characteristics can influence interracial killing. In our analyses, we test an alternative hypothesis that draws on macro-structural opportunity theory and the rountine activities perspective to understand the relationship between city-level structural factors and different types of interracial homicide.

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Updated 05/20/2006