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The Interracial Nature of Violent Crimes: A Reexamination

Robert M. O'Brien
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 92, No. 4 (Jan., 1987), pp. 817-835
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2780040
Page Count: 19
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The Interracial Nature of Violent Crimes: A Reexamination
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Abstract

Several authors have recently challenged the conception that violent crimes in the United States are disproportionately intraracial. They have posited a special propensity for black offenders to seek out white victims because of black rage and have pointed to the desirable characteristics of white victims. In this paper, three models of the race of offender and victim are developed using aggregate national data on homicide (from the Uniform Crime Reports), rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, and robbery (from the National Crime Surveys.) Whatever measures are used, violent crimes are found to be intraracial to a far greater extent than statistically expected under these models. A structural explanation of these findings is presented.

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