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Revisiting the Southern Culture of Violence

Matthew R. Lee, William B. Bankston, Timothy C. Hayes and Shaun A. Thomas
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 48, No. 2 (Spring, 2007), pp. 253-275
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40220099
Page Count: 23
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Revisiting the Southern Culture of Violence
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Abstract

This analysis revisits the Southern culture of violence thesis. Several limitations of prior research are addressed by probing for a cultural influence on situation- and race-specific rates of homicide in both rural and urban communities. Negative binomial regression analyses of county-level homicide and census data indicate that the density of Southern-born whites is positively associated with white argument-based homicide rates in rural areas. When this relationship is examined outside of the spatial boundaries of the South--a critical test for a regionally based cultural influence on violence--the results are identical. We interpret these findings as suggestive of a cultural influence and situate them in a discussion of the broader theoretical state of research on regional variations in violence.

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