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Regional Subculture and Homicide: An Examination of the Gastil-Hackney Thesis

Colin Loftin and Robert H. Hill
American Sociological Review
Vol. 39, No. 5 (Oct., 1974), pp. 714-724
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094316
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Regional Subculture and Homicide: An Examination of the Gastil-Hackney Thesis
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Abstract

Two recent comparative studies of regional variation in U.S. homicide rates by Sheldon Hackney and Raymond Gastil have been widely interpreted as verifying the hypothesis that the high levels of interpersonal violence, which characterize the Southern region, result largely from cultural factors that exist independent of the effects of situational variables. A close examination of Gastil's and Hackney's studies reveals that their estimates of the independent effects of regional culture are based on poor measurement and are biased in the direction of the culture of violence hypothesis. A new regression analysis of similar data using slightly modified procedures demonstrates the weaknesses of their procedures by showing that it is possible to obtain estimates of cultural and situational effects vastly different from those obtained by Gastil and Hackney.

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