Urban Black Violence: The Effect of Male Joblessness and Family Disruption

  title={Urban Black Violence: The Effect of Male Joblessness and Family Disruption},
  author={Robert J. Sampson},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={348 - 382}
  • R. Sampson
  • Published 1 September 1987
  • Psychology
  • American Journal of Sociology
This paper examines the relationships among unemployment, crime, and family disruption in the black "underclass." The main hypothesis tested is that the effect of black adult male joblessness on black crime is mediated largely through its effects on family disruption. The study examines race-specific rates of robbery and homicide by juveniles and adults in over 150 U.S. cities in 1980. The results show that the scarcity of employed black men increases the prevalence of families headed by… 

Putting in Work: Black Male Youth Joblessness, Violence, Crime, and the Code of the Street

In response to the structural barriers that block many Black male youth from legitimate employment opportunities, some have redefined the concept of work. Engaging in violence and crime is perceived


In a stagnating urban economy, Elijah Anderson's (1999) Code of the Street depicts a disadvantaged environment where residents face high levels of joblessness, poverty, racial residential isolation,


During the past decade, criminological research has targeted gender as an important discriminator of criminal participation and persistence. Yet, the research question too often contrasts the

Deindustrialization, Female‐Headed Families, and Black and White Juvenile Homicide Rates, 1970‐1990

Recent research in urban sociology posits that the proliferation of female-headed families in American cities is a result of declining economic prospects due to profound changes in the structure of

Violent Crime: The Structural-Cultural Perspective: A Theory of Black Male Violence

Introduction One of the most significant challenges confronting America is the disproportionately high rate of homicide and nonfatal violence occurring among black males. There exists very little

Industrial Restructuring and Violence: The Link between Entry-Level Jobs, Economic Deprivation, and Black and White Homicide

Although low-skill, entry-level employment has facilitated the social mobility of central city populations, evidence confirms that these once plentiful jobs are disappearing. This shift in the

Still Separate and Unequal? A City-Level Analysis of the Black-White Gap in Homicide Arrests since 1960

More than four decades ago, the Kerner Report chronicled the violent disturbances of the 1960s and predicted that the United States was rapidly moving toward two racially separate and unequal

Joblessness, Poverty, and Neighborhood Crime: Testing Wilson’s Assertions of Jobless Poverty

Political and public rhetoric often tout the detrimental effects of poverty and the stabilizing effects of jobs when discussing issues of crime and disorder. Several decades ago, William Julius

Joblessness, Family Disruption, and Violent Death in Chicago, 1970–90

Utilizing 1970 and 1990 census data and vital records for 75 Chicago community areas this paper examines the relationships between joblessness family disruption and all three forms of violent death

Urban Disadvantage and Types of Race-Specific Homicide: Assessing the Diversity in Family Structures in the Urban Context

The family is a mechanism of social control and is essential for reducing crime in urban areas. Recent urban disadvantage and violence research has shifted attention to family disruption as a



The Cost of Inequality: Metropolitan Structure and Violent Crime

The hypothesis tested is that variations in rates of urban criminal violence largely result from differences in racial inequality in socioeconomic conditions. Data on the 125 largest American

Regional and Racial Effects on the Urban Homicide Rate: The Subculture of Violence Revisited

  • S. Messner
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1983
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the thesis of a "subculture of violence" by examining the realtinships among region, racial composition, and the homicide rate for a sample of 204 Standard

Neighborhood and Crime: The Structural Determinants of Personal Victimization

This study examines the effects of neighborhood characteristics on rates of personal criminal victimization (rape, robbery, assault, and larceny). The data base is taken from the National Crime

Fear of Crime and Neighborhood Change

  • W. Skogan
  • Law, Psychology
    Crime and Justice
  • 1986
Crime rates and the quality of life do not necessarily change in direct response to changes in the physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods. Developments that have an indirect effect on

The Black Community in the 1980s: Questions of Race, Class, and Public Policy

Because the dissimilar effects of policy pro grams on different segments of the black population are usually not specified or recognized, recent developments involving Blacks are puzzling to

Structural Density and Criminal Victimization

* * * This study examines the relationship between neighborhood structural density and rates of robbery and assault victimization. A theoretical framework linking defensible-space theory with an

The Impact of Social Status, Family Structure, and Neighborhood on the Fertility of Black Adolescents

Black teenagers living in metropolitan areas of the United States initiate sexual intercourse at earlier ages than other teenagers and have higher rates of premarital pregnancy. Ethnographic studies

Effects of Socioeconomic Context on Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency

This study uses survey data in conjunction with police and court records to examine the two-tiered effects of socioeconomic context on official police reaction to juvenile delinquency. The results

The Negro Family: The Case for National Action

The removal of legal obstacles to equality of opportunity did not directly lead—and has not yet led—to equal results for African Americans considered as a group. Partly as a result, the demand for

Race and Involvement in Common Law Personal Crimes.

Most contemporary sociological theories of crime predict that blacks will be overrepresented among arrestees in common law personal crimes. These theories differ, however, in the extent to which this