Sunday, November 27, 2011

Theory and Society 41(1)

Theory and Society, January 2012: Volume 41, Issue 1

Theorizing in sociology and social science: turning to the context of discovery
Richard Swedberg

Bourdieu and Adorno: Converging theories of culture and inequality
David Gartman

Manufacturing national attachments: gift-giving, market exchange and the construction of Irish and Zionist diaspora bonds
Dan Lainer-Vos

Uncertainty, the problem of order, and markets: a critique of Beckert, Theory and Society, May 2009
Kurtulu? Gemici

The “social order of markets” approach: a reply to Kurtulu? Gemici
Jens Beckert

Journal of Criminal Justice 39(6)

Journal of Criminal Justice, November 2011: Volume 39, Issue 6

Where is the Evidence for Racial Profiling?  
Matt DeLisi

Community-level impacts of temperature on urban street robbery
Evan T. Sorg, Ralph B. Taylor
► First intra-urban examination into link between temperature and street robbery. ► Examine whether community SES and crime-relevant land use strengthen temperature impact. ► Fixed and random effects of temperature persist controlling for land use and community structure. ► Effects of temperature stronger in higher SES communities. ► Commercial land use/subway stops associated with heightened temperature impact on robbery.

Marked for Death: An Empirical Criminal Careers Analysis of Death Sentences in a Sample of Convicted Male Homicide Offenders
Monic P. Behnken, Jonathan W. Caudill, Mark T. Berg, Chad R. Trulson, Matt DeLisi
► Prior criminal history is importantly related to capital sentencing. ► Prior research has largely ignored linkages between criminal careers and the application of the death penalty. ► Poisson IRR models found that criminal careers were associated with death sentences. ► Variable effects were found for White, African American, and Hispanic males.

Naturally Occurring Social Support in Interventions for Former Prisoners with Substance Use Disorders: Conceptual Framework and Program Model
Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Owen Howard, Amelia Roberts-Lewis, Anna M. Scheyett
► Few programs worldwide actively involve naturally-occurring support providers. ► Programs must address the match of social support needs and support provision. ► Conceptual framework for new practice approaches with former prisoners with SUDs. ► Detailed program model of a novel naturally-occurring social support intervention.

The Convergent and Discriminant Validity of Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy: An Empirical Test of Core Theoretical Propositions
Jacinta M. Gau
► Confirmatory factor analyses assess procedural justice and police legitimacy. ► Problems with convergent and discriminant validity are found. ► Data-driven scales are constructed. ► Revised scales operate similarly to the originals. ► Need for further theoretical development of procedural justice and police legitimacy.

Testing Social Support Theory: A Multilevel Analysis of Recidivism
Erin A. Orrick, John L. Worrall, Robert G. Morris, Alex R. Piquero, William D. Bales, Xia Wang
► A multi-level test of social support theory focusing on individual-level recidivism. ► We test both public and private sources of social support. ► Social support explains little variation in individual-level recidivism. ► Interaction of support types reduces the likelihood of recidivism for drug offenses.

Evidence on the Effectiveness of Juvenile Court Sanctions
Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, Sarah J. Greenman, Avinash S. Bhati, Mark A. Greenwald
► Substantial heterogeneity in juvenile justice sanctions and interventions exists. ► The external validity of studies that evaluate them remains largely unknown. ► The evidence-base for existing sanctions and interventions is thus limited. ► Practiced-based evidence research can help to identify effective sanctions. ► Better systems for monitoring and assessing sanctions and outcomes are needed.

Does the measurement of peer deviance change the relationship between self-control and deviant behavior? An analysis of friendship pairs
John H. Boman, Chris L. Gibson
► Self-control's effect strength depends on the measurement of peer delinquency ► Self-control is weaker when perceptual measures of peer delinquency are used ► Self-control is stronger when measures of peer delinquency come straight from peers ► True for attitudinal and behavioral self-control ► Perceptions of peer delinquency are distinct from actual peer delinquency

Criminology & Public Policy 10(4)

Criminology & Public Policy, November 2011: Volume 10, Issue 4


Good in theory
Beth M. Huebner

Too early is too soon
Kevin A. Wright and Jeffrey W. Rosky

What is my left hand doing?
Megan Kurlychek

More than just early release
Susan Turner

The cattle call of reentry
Faye S. Taxman


Transitional jobs program Putting employment-based reentry programs into context
Robert Apel

For whom does a transitional jobs program work?
Janine Zweig, Jennifer Yahner and Cindy Redcross

Why the risk and needs principles are relevant to correctional programs (even to employment programs)
Edward Latessa

Deconstructing the risk principle
Gerald G. Gaes and William D. Bales


Community-based partnerships and crime prevention
Wesley G. Skogan

Community-driven violence reduction programs
Jeremy M. Wilson and Steven Chermak

Crime policy and informal social control
Megan Ferrier and Jens Ludwig

Comprehensive gang and violence reduction programs
Malcolm W. Klein

Whither streetwork?
David M. Kennedy

Too big to fail
Andrew V. Papachristos


Racial disparity under the federal sentencing guidelines pre- and post-Booker
Raymond Paternoster

Racial disparity in the wake of the Booker/Fanfan decision
Jeffery T. Ulmer, Michael T. Light and John H. Kramer

Unwarranted disparity in the wake of the Booker/Fanfan decision
Cassia Spohn

Race disparity under advisory guidelines
Ryan W. Scott

Racial disparity in the wake of Booker/Fanfan Making sense of “messy” results and other challenges for sentencing research
Rodney Engen

Judicial discretion in federal sentencing
Celesta A. Albonetti

Social Problems 58(4)

Social Problems, November 2011: Volume 58, Issue 4

The Tactical Disruptiveness of Social Movements: Sources of Market and Mediated Disruption in Corporate Boycotts
Brayden G King
This article examines factors associated with social movements’ abilities to disrupt corporate targets. I identify two kinds of disruption: market disruption and mediated disruption. Market disruption deters the ability of the corporate target to effectively accrue and use market resources, while mediated disruption occurs as a tactic communicates a movement's claims about the target through third party intermediaries, like the media, thereby disrupting the target's image and reputation. Using data on corporate boycotts in the United States from 1990 to 2005, the analyses assess the extent to which movement characteristics or target characteristics cause stock price declines of boycotted companies—i.e., market disruption—and the frequency of national media attention given to boycotts—i.e., mediated disruption. The analyses indicate that target characteristics matter more in shaping a boycott's initial market disruption; however, both movement and target characteristics affect mediated disruption. Certain movement characteristics, like social movement organization (SMO) formality, public demonstrations, and celebrity endorsements, enable mediated disruption but have no effect on market disruption. A firm's size makes it vulnerable to both market and mediated disruption, while slack resources help a firm avoid market disruption. A target's reputational ranking initially buffers it from market disruption but increases its vulnerability to mediated disruption. The results indicate that the two kinds of disruption are interrelated. Market disruption has a marginal effect on the intensity of subsequent media coverage and ongoing media attention accentuates further market disruption.

The Politics of Acculturation: Female Genital Cutting and the Challenge of Building Multicultural Democracies
Lisa Wade
Understanding how the idea of culture is mobilized in discursive contests is crucial for both theorizing and building multicultural democracies. To investigate this, I analyze a debate over whether we should relieve the “cultural need” for infibulation among immigrants by offering a “nick” in U.S. hospitals. Using interviews, newspaper coverage, and primary documents, I show that physicians and opponents of the procedure with contrasting models of culture disagreed on whether it represented cultural change. Opponents argued that the “nick” was fairly described as “female genital mutilation” and symbolically identical to more extensive cutting. Using a reified model, they imagined Somalis to be “culture-bound”; the adoption of a “nick” was simply a move from one genital cutting procedure to another. Unable to envision meaningful cultural adaptation, and presupposing the incompatibility of multiculturalism and feminism, they supported forced assimilation. Physicians, drawing on a dynamic model of culture, believed that adoption of the “nick” was meaningful cultural change, but overly idealized their ability to protect Somali girls from both Somali and U.S. patriarchy. Unduly confident, they failed to take oppression seriously, dismissing relevant constituencies and their concerns. Both models, then, influenced the outcome of this cultural conflict by shaping the perceptions of cultural change in problematic ways. Given the high-profile nature of “culture” in contemporary politics, these findings may very well extend to other issues that crystallize the supposed incommensurability of feminism and multiculturalism, as well as the wider debates about how societies can be both diverse and socially just.

Bodily Signs of Academic Success: An Empirical Examination of Tattoos and Grooming
Eric Silver, Stacy Rogers Silver, Sonja Siennick, George Farkas
This study examined the relationship between bodily comportment (tattoos and grooming) and the likelihood of going to college among a national sample of 11,010 adolescents gathered as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Results show that adolescents with tattoos and those judged as poorly groomed by Add Health interviewers were significantly less likely to go to college after graduating from high school. These effects were similar in magnitude to those of other well-known demographic correlates of educational attainment, including family SES and family structure. Results also show that involvement in deviant activities accounted for much of the lower likelihood of going to college among adolescents with tattoos. Similar results were observed across gender, SES, and race groups, with the exception of Asians, for whom the lower likelihood of going to college among those with tattoos was especially pronounced. Overall, this study supports the conclusion that bodily signs constitute an important and relatively untapped source of information for predicting college matriculation among adolescents.

World Income Inequality in the Global Era: New Estimates, 1990-2008
Rob Clark
Several studies have recently found that world income inequality declined during the closing years of the twentieth century. However, these studies feature a number of shortcomings, including the use of outdated national income estimates to measure inequality between countries, as well as sparse data to capture the smaller (but growing) component found within countries. The current study addresses these concerns and offers new estimates of world income inequality based on 151 countries covering 95 percent of the world's population during the 1990–2008 period. Overall, the results are fairly compatible with prior efforts, lending greater confidence to earlier findings. Nevertheless, the results suggest that prior studies covering the 1990s overestimate the decline in between-country inequality, but underestimate the rise in within-country inequality. Consequently, total inequality did not begin to decline substantially until the post-2000 era. After presenting these estimates, I then examine factors associated with income mobility among the 15,100 subnational percentile groups in my data set. The results suggest that (a) the negative effect of inequality is larger than the positive effect of economic growth among the poorest 25 percent of the world's population, and (b) late industrialization has contributed to income convergence between countries, while economic globalization has primarily served to stretch income distributions within nations.

Honest Brokers: The Politics of Expertise in the “Who Lost China?” Debate
Gary Alan Fine, Bin Xu
Complex social systems require knowledge specialists who provide information that political actors rely on to solve policy challenges. Successful advice is unproblematic; more significant is assigning institutional blame in the aftermath of advice considered wrong or harmful, undercutting state security. How do experts, operating within epistemic communities, preserve their reputation in the face of charges of incompetence or malice? Attacks on experts and their sponsors can be an effective form of contentious politics, a wedge to denounce other institutional players. To examine the politics of expertise we analyze the debate in the early 1950s over “Who Lost China?,” the congressional attempt to assign responsibility for the fall of the Nationalist regime to the Communists. Using a “strong case,” we examine political battles over the motives of Professor Owen Lattimore. For epistemic authority an expert must be defined as qualified (having appropriate credentials), influential (providing consequential information), and innocent (demonstrating epistemic neutrality). We focus on two forms of attack: smears (an oppositional presentation of a set of linked claims) and degradation ceremonies (the institutional awarding of stigma). We differentiate these by the critic's links to systems of power. Smears appear when reputational rivals lack power to make their claims stick, while degradation ceremonies operate through dominance within an institutional setting. Policy experts are awarded provisional credibility, but this access to an autonomous realm of knowledge can be countered by opponents with alternate sources of power. Ultimately expertise involves not only knowledge, but also the presentation of a validated self.

Urban Revitalization and Seattle Crime, 1982–2000
Derek A. Kreager, Christopher J. Lyons, Zachary R. Hays
This study examines the relationship between crime and processes of urban revitalization, or gentrification. Drawing on recent urban demography research, we hypothesize that gentrification progressed rapidly in many American cities over the last decade of the twentieth century, and that these changes had implications for area crime rates. Criminological theories hold competing hypotheses for the connections between gentrification and crime, and quantitative studies of this link remain infrequent and limited. Using two measures of gentrification and longitudinal tract-level demographic and crime data for the city of Seattle, we find that many of Seattle's downtown tracts underwent rapid revitalization during the 1990s, and that these areas (1) saw reductions in crime relative to similar tracts that did not gentrify, and (2) were areas with higher-than-average crime at the beginning of the decade. Moreover, using a within-tract longitudinal design, we find that yearly housing investments in the 1980s showed a modest positive association with crime change, while yearly investments in the 1990s showed the opposite pattern. Our findings suggest a curvilinear gentrification-crime relationship, whereby gentrification in its earlier stages is associated with small increases in crime, but gentrification in its more consolidated form is associated with modest crime declines. Implications of these results for criminological theory, urban development, and broader crime patterns are discussed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 48(4)

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, November 2011: Volume 48, Issue 4

Revisiting Risk Sensitivity in the Fear of Crime
Jonathan Jackson
This article considers the psychology of risk perception in worry about crime. A survey-based study replicates a long-standing finding that perceptions of the likelihood of criminal victimization predict levels of fear of crime. But perceived control and perceived consequence also play two roles: (a) each predicts perceived likelihood and (b) each moderates the relationship between perceived likelihood and worry about crime. Public perceptions of control and consequence thus drive what Mark Warr defines as “sensitivity to risk.” When individuals perceive crime to be especially serious in its personal impact, and when individuals perceive that they have little personal control over the victimization event occurring, a lower level of perceived likelihood is needed to stimulate worry about crime.

Gender Differences in Risk Factors for Violent Victimization: An Examination of Individual-, Family-, and Community-Level Predictors
Janet L. Lauritsen and Kristin Carbone-Lopez
While gender is a well-known correlate of victimization risk, there has been a tendency to study women’s experiences of violence separately from those of men. As a result, relatively little attention has been paid to the question of whether gender moderates well-known risk factors for violent victimization. In this article, the authors use data from the Area-Identified National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to examine whether the relationships between individual, family, and neighborhood factors and victimization risk are similar in strength and direction for males and females. The findings show that most risk factors for violent victimization are similar across gender and crime type. In a few important instances, however, risk factors such as neighborhood disadvantage were found to vary some across gender. The implications of these findings for the assumptions about gender differences underlying various theoretical perspectives are discussed.

Problem Behavior in the Middle School Years: An Assessment of the Social Development Model
Christopher J. Sullivan and Paul Hirschfield
The Social Development Model (SDM) is a life course theory that integrates several extant criminological theories to specify the interactive social processes that lead to prosocial and antisocial behavior. Relatively little research has attempted to cross-validate this and other developmental theories of delinquency. The current study assesses the school and family processes that comprise SDM with a sample of Chicago public school students measured over three school years between fifth and eighth grades (n = 2,014). The data draw on student surveys tapping into multiple domains relevant to the explanation of problem behavior. Although overall model fit was marginal, the results of structural equation models largely support the SDM and its constituent paths. The implications for theoretical development and intervention are considered.

Measuring Community Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Evidence from a Developing Nation
Edward R. Maguire, William Wells, and Charles M. Katz
Most published research on community risk and protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors has been carried out in developed nations. This article examines community risk and protective factors in a sample of more than 2,500 adolescents in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing Caribbean nation. The authors examine the construct and concurrent validity of five community risk factors and two community protective factors. The findings of this study suggest that existing measures of risk and protective factors have weak construct validity when applied to a sample of youth from Trinidad and Tobago. The revised model specifications this study developed fit the data better than the original models developed in the United States. However, the concurrent validity of both sets of measures is weak. Our findings suggest the need for caution when transplanting measures of risk and protective factors from developed to developing nations.

Theoretical Criminology 15(4)

Theoretical Criminology, November 2011: Volume 15, Issue 4

Crime prevention goes abroad: Policy transfer and policing in post-apartheid South Africa

Jonny Steinberg
Loader and Walker have warned that ideas about order ‘always travel with culturally specific baggage’, ‘never adapt easily to [their] new environment’ and thus ‘always risk hubristic failure’. My aim is to offer an exemplar of this hubristic failure. I chart the infusion of Anglo-American ideas of crime prevention into the policing institutions of South Africa’s young democracy. These ideas bore a bloated conception of urban security which inadvertently stimulated, and thus helped to keep alive, a similarly bloated conception of security that lay at the heart of apartheid thinking. Dressed in the garb of crime prevention, a modified version of the paramilitary policing practices that flourished under apartheid returned to the streets of democratic South Africa.

Prepression: The actuarial archive and new technologies of security
Willem Schinkel
This article argues, on the basis of a discussion of current Dutch databases, that we are witnessing what can be called prepression. This combination of prevention and repression entails the archiving of risky individuals and their selection for ‘early intervention’. Such databases can be seen in light of their work of social imagination: they visualize the constitutive outside of ‘society’, and in so doing function as part of a governing imaginary. Crucial in contemporary prepression is the archive, which is interpreted not as a recording but also as a recoding of the past, that is, as an ordering principle in the fields of law and order, social work and health. The cases on the basis of which this article develops a preliminary sketch of a theory of prepression are drawn from recent developments concerning actuarial archiving systems in the Netherlands.

Crime behind the glass: Exploring the sublime in crime at the Vienna Kriminalmuseum
Laura Huey
Scholars have noted an ever-increasing growth in the number of crime-themed leisure and tourism venues. Within this article I examine one such site: the Vienna Kriminalmuseum. An analysis of this site provides an opportunity to explore how the ‘sublime in crime’ is presented to the Museum’s visitors in ways that intentionally merge the macabre with the educational. This presentation says much, I suggest, not only about the Museum’s goals, but about its intended audience, an audience seeking to be exposed to elements of the darkest side of humanity, now sanitized for wider public consumption through the union of educational and entertainment strategies.

Penal tourism in Argentina: Bridging Foucauldian and neo-Durkheimian perspectives
Michael Welch and Melissa Macuare
In theoretical criminology, scholars continue to debate the significance of power-based perspectives in the face of semiotics and vice versa. Among the problems created by ‘taking sides’ is the missed opportunity that would allow for the synthesis of instrumentalist and culturalist work. Recognizing the merits of both perspectives, this project explores penal tourism in Argentina in ways that reveal key forms of state power alongside important cultural signs, symbols, and messages. In particular, our case study of the Argentine Penitentiary Museum in Buenos Aires delivers a thick description of its collection so as to bridge Foucault’s insights on systematic penal regimes with Durkheim’s socio-religious concepts: pollution; the sacred; the mythological; and the cult of the individual.

Punishment and the body in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ South Africa: A story of punitivist humanism
Gail Super
This paper analyses official discourse about punishment in South Africa, from 1976 to 2004. It frames punishment as a form of governance which is both connected to, and separate from, the Anglo/American/European examples that are generally referred to in the literature. The shift from corporal and capital punishment to the use of long-term imprisonment is discussed within a framework that emphasizes how both the apartheid and post-apartheid state explained and attempted to justify punishment policies during times of great upheaval and change. Penality under apartheid was a complex entity, and the punishment regime under the Nationalist Party government was starting to reform during the period analyzed. This liberalization was accompanied by a lengthening of terms of imprisonment, a trend that has continued in the ‘new’ South Africa. The prison in post-apartheid South Africa speaks to both humanism and punitivism. This duality has contributed to its enduring nature and endless capacity to reform.

Neutralizing sexual victimization: A typology of victims’ non-reporting accounts
Karen G. Weiss
Drawing its examples from National Crime Victimization Survey narratives, this article proposes a theoretical framework for elucidating victims’ non-reporting accounts, the rationales that victims use to justify why they do not report sexual victimization to police. The framework delineates four account types—denying criminal intent, denying serious injury, denying victim innocence, and rejecting a victim identity—that each problematize one or more critical elements of real and reportable crime. By delineating victims’ accounts of unwanted sexual incidents, along with each account’s distinct neutralization strategies, non-reporting rationales, and cognitive benefits, this article contributes theoretically to discourses on unreported and unacknowledged rape, as well as to a broader literature on non-reported crime.

Sociological Methodology 41

Sociological Methodology, 2011: Volume 41

Ethnographical Research

How Not To Lie With Ethnography
Mitchell Duneier

Inference And Bias

Dealing With Extreme Response Style In Cross-Cultural Research: A Restricted Latent Class Factor Analysis Approach
Meike Morren, John P.T.M. Gelissen And Jeroen K. Vermunt

Accounting For Misclassification Bias In Binary Outcome Measures Of Illness: The Case Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In Male Veterans
Elizabeth Savoca

Inferring Logit Models From Empirical Margins Using Proxy Data
Ju-Sung Lee And Kathleen M. Carley

Biases Of Parameter Estimates In Misspecified Structural Equation Models
Stanislav Kolenikov

Comparisons And Differences

Entropy-Based Segregation Indices
Ricardo Mora And Javier Ruiz-Castillo

Regression Analysis

A Transition-Oriented Approach To Optimal Matching
Torsten Biemann

Decomposition Of Inequality Among Groups By Counterfactual Modeling: An Analysis Of The Gender Wage Gap In Japan
Kazuo Yamaguchi

Social Network Analysis

Bayesian Meta-Analysis Of Social Network Data Via Conditional Uniform Graph Quantiles
Carter T. Butts

Bernoulli Graph Bounds For General Random Graphs
Carter T. Butts


Comment: On Respondent-Driven Sampling And Snowball Sampling In Hard-To-Reach Populations And Snowball Sampling Not In Hard-To-Reach Populations
Leo A. Goodman

Comment: Snowball Versus Respondent-Driven Sampling
Douglas D. Heckathorn

Comment: On The Concept Of Snowball Sampling
Mark S. Handcock And Krista J. Gile

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

American Journal of Sociology 117(3)

American Journal of Sociology, November 2011: Volume 117, Issue 3

“737-Cabriolet”: The Limits of Knowledge and the Sociology of Inevitable Failure
John Downer
This article looks at the fateful 1988 fuselage failure of Aloha Airlines Flight 243 to suggest and illustrate a new perspective on the sociology of technological accidents. Drawing on core insights from the sociology of scientific knowledge, it highlights, and then challenges, a fundamental principle underlying our understanding of technological risk: a realist epistemology that tacitly assumes that technological knowledge is objectively knowable and that “failures” always connote “errors” that are, in principle, foreseeable. From here, it suggests a new conceptual tool by proposing a novel category of man-made calamity: the “epistemic accident,” grounded in a constructivist understanding of knowledge. It concludes by exploring the implications of epistemic accidents and a constructivist approach to failure, sketching their relationship to broader issues concerning technology and society, and reexamining conventional ideas about technology, accountability, and governance

Is a College Degree Still the Great Equalizer? Intergenerational Mobility across Levels of Schooling in the United States
Florencia Torche
A quarter century ago, an important finding in stratification research showed that the intergenerational occupational association was much weaker among college graduates than among those with lower levels of education. This article provides a comprehensive assessment of the “meritocratic power” of a college degree. Drawing on five longitudinal data sets, the author analyzes intergenerational mobility in terms of class, occupational status, earnings, and household income for men and women. Findings indicate that the intergenerational association is strong among those with low educational attainment; it weakens or disappears among bachelor’s degree holders but reemerges among those with advanced degrees, leading to a U-shaped pattern of parental influence. Educational and labor market factors explain these differences in mobility: parental resources influence college selectivity, field of study, and earnings more strongly for advanced-degree holders than for those with a bachelor’s degree alone.

Educational Assortative Mating and Earnings Inequality in the United States
Richard Breen, Leire Salazar
This article investigates how changes in educational assortative mating affected the growth in earnings inequality among households in the United States between the late 1970s and early 2000s. The authors find that these changes had a small, negative effect on inequality: there would have been more inequality in earnings in the early 2000s if educational assortative mating patterns had remained as they were in the 1970s. Given the educational distribution of men and women in the United States, educational assortative mating can have only a weak impact on inequality, and educational sorting among partners is a poor proxy for sorting on earnings.

Practicing What They Preach? Lynching and Religion in the American South, 1890–1929
Amy Kate Bailey, Karen A. Snedker
This project employs a moral solidarity framework to explore the relationship between organized religion and lynching in the American South. The authors ask whether a county’s religious composition affected its rate of lynching, net of demographic and economic controls. The authors find evidence for the solidarity thesis, using three religious metrics. First, their findings show that counties with greater religious diversity experienced more lynching, supporting the notion that a pluralistic religious marketplace with competing religious denominations weakened the bonds of a cohesive moral community and might have enhanced white racial solidarity. Second, counties in which a larger share of the black population worshipped in churches controlled by blacks experienced higher levels of racial violence, indicating a threat to intergroup racially based solidarity. Finally, the authors find a lower incidence of lynching in counties where a larger share of church members belonged to racially mixed denominations, suggesting that cross-racial solidarity served to reduce racial violence.

When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures
Lauren B. Edelman, Linda H. Krieger, Scott R. Eliason, Catherine R. Albiston, Virginia Mellema
This article offers a theoretical and empirical analysis of legal endogeneity—a powerful process through which institutionalized organizational structures influence judicial conceptions of compliance with antidiscrimination law. It finds that organizational structures (e.g., grievance and evaluation procedures, antiharassment policies) become symbolic indicators of rational governance and compliance with antidiscrimination laws, first within organizations, but eventually in the judicial realm as well. Lawyers and judges tend to infer nondiscrimination from the mere presence of those structures. Judges increasingly defer to organizational structures in their opinions, ultimately inferring nondiscrimination from their presence. Legal endogeneity theory is tested by analyzing a random sample of 1,024 federal employment discrimination opinions (1965–99) and is found to have increased over time. Judicial deference is most likely when plaintiffs lack clout and when the legal theories require judges to rule on unobservable organizational attributes. The authors argue that legal endogeneity weakens the impact of law when organizational structures are viewed as indicators of legal compliance even in the face of discriminatory actions.

Causality and Statistical Learning
Andrew Gelman
Reviewed work(s):
Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research. By Stephen L. Morgan and Christopher Winship. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. xiii+319.
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference, 2d ed. By Judea Pearl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. xix+464.
Causal Models: How People Think About the World and Its Alternatives. By Steven A. Sloman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. xi+212.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Journal of Quantitative Criminology 27(4)

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, December 2011: Volume 27, Issue 4

Static and Dynamic Indicators of Minority Threat in Sentencing Outcomes: A Multi-Level Analysis
Cyndy Caravelis, Ted Chiricos and William Bales
Designation as a “Habitual Offender” is an enhanced form of punishment which unlike, “Three Strikes” or “10-20-Life,” is entirely discretionary. We use Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling to assess the direct effects of race and Latino ethnicity on the designation of Habitual Offenders as well as the effect of both static and dynamic indicators of racial and ethnic threat on those outcomes. Our data include 26,740 adults sentenced to prison in Florida between 2002 and 2004 who were statutorily eligible to be sentenced as Habitual. The odds of receiving this designation are significantly increased for black and Latino defendants as compared to whites, though race and ethnicity effects vary substantially by crime type, being strongest for drug offenses and negligible for violent crimes. Static measures of group level threat (% black and % Latino) have no cross-level effect on sentencing by race or Latino ethnicity. However, increasing black population over time increases the odds of being sentenced as Habitual for both black and Latino defendants. Increasing Latino population increases the odds of Habitual Offender sentencing for Latinos, but decreases it for blacks. The prospect of engaging dynamic as opposed to static measures of threat in future criminal justice and other social control research is discussed.

Examining the Neighborhood Context of the Violent Offending-Victimization Relationship: A Prospective Investigation
Mark T. Berg and Rolf Loeber
The persistent link between offending and victimization is one of the most robust empirical findings in criminological research. Despite important efforts to isolate the sources of this phenomenon, it is not fully understood. Much attention has been paid to the role of individual-level factors; however, few studies have systematically integrated neighborhood conditions. Using prospective data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study the current research examines a set of hypotheses regarding the interplay of neighborhood structural conditions and the victim-offender overlap. A multilevel analytical technique is applied to the data which purges time-varying covariates of all time-stable unobserved heterogeneity. Results indicate that the relationship between offending and victimization is pronounced in disadvantaged neighborhoods, while offending is not significantly related to victimization risk in contexts marked by lower levels of disadvantage. The implications of the results for theory are discussed, along with recommendations for future research.

Racial Disparity in Police Stop and Searches in England and Wales
Vani K. Borooah
Data published by the United Kingdom’s Ministry for Justice clearly shows that, compared to persons who were White, members of racial minorities in England, particularly Blacks, were far more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. The question is whether such racial disparity in stops and searches could be justified by racial disparities in offending? Or whether the disparity in stop and searches exceeded the disparity in offending? This paper proposes a method for measuring the amount of excess in racial disparity in police stop and searches. Using the most recently published Ministry of Justice data (for 2007/08) for Police Areas in England and Wales it concludes that while in several Areas there was no excess to racial disparity in police stop and searches, there was, on the basis of the methodology proposed in the paper, evidence of such excess in some Police Areas of England and Wales.

Structural Determinants of Homicide: The Big Three
Maria Tcherni
Building upon and expanding the previous research into structural determinants of homicide, particularly the work of Land, McCall, and Cohen (1990), the current paper introduces a multilevel theoretical framework that outlines the influences of three major structural forces on homicidal violence. The Big Three are poverty/low education, racial composition, and the disruption of family structure. These three factors exert their effects on violence at the following levels: neighborhood/community level, family/social interpersonal level, and individual level. It is shown algebraically how individual-level and aggregate-level effects contribute to the size of regression coefficients in aggregate-level analyses. In the empirical part of the study, the presented theoretical model is tested using county-level data to estimate separate effects of each of the Big Three factors on homicide at two time periods: 1950–1960 and 1995–2005 (chosen to be as far removed from one another as the availability of data allows). All major variables typically used in homicide research are included as statistical controls. The results of analyses show that the effects of the three major structural forces—poverty/low education, race, and divorce rates—on homicide rates in US counties are remarkably strong. Moreover, the effect sizes of each of the Big Three are found to be identical for both time periods despite profound changes in the economic and social situation in the United States over the past half-century. This remarkable stability in the effect sizes implies the stability of homicidal violence in response to certain structural conditions.

Estimating the Impact of Classification Error on the “Statistical Accuracy” of Uniform Crime Reports
James J. Nolan, Stephen M. Haas and Jessica S. Napier
This paper offers a methodological approach for estimating classification error in police records then determining the statistical accuracy of official crime statistics reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Classification error refers to the mistakes in UCR statistics caused by the misclassification of criminal offenses, for example recording a crime as aggravated assault when it should have been simple assault. Statistical accuracy refers to the estimated true total of each crime type based on cancelling effect of undercounting and overcounting crime due to misclassifications. The population for the study consists of the 12 largest municipal police agencies in a mostly rural southeastern state. Based on a sample of 2,663 records, the authors illustrate the impact of classification error on the total population of reported offenses. Misclassifications result in overcounting and undercounting certain crimes. The true number of each crime type, as well as the aggregate Index Crime, Violent Crime, and Property Crime totals, is estimated based the evaluation of offsetting misclassifications. The findings show that certain UCR crime categories are greatly undercounted while others are overcounted. The index crime and violent crime totals are also significantly undercounted; however, when simple assault is added to the index and violent crime categories, the error in these aggregate numbers is reduced to less than 1%. The results provide a benchmark for assessing the statistical accuracy of the UCR data.

Spatializing the Social Networks of Gangs to Explore Patterns of Violence
George E. Tita and Steven M. Radil
The majority of spatial studies of crime employ an inductive approach in both the modeling and interpretation of the mechanisms of influence thought to be responsible for the patterning of crime in space and time. In such studies, the spatial weights matrix is specified without regard to the theorized mechanisms of influence between the units of analysis. Recently, a more deductive approach has begun to gain traction in which the theory of influence is used to model influence in geographic space. Using data from Los Angeles, we model the spatial distribution of gang violence by considering both the relative location of the gangs in space while simultaneously capturing their position within an enmity network of gang rivalries. We find that the spatial distribution of gang violence is more strongly associated with the socio-spatial dimensions of gang rivalries than it is with adjacency-based measures of spatial autocorrelation.

A Comparison of Logistic Regression, Classification and Regression Tree, and Neural Networks Models in Predicting Violent Re-Offending
Yuan Y. Liu, Min Yang, Malcolm Ramsay, Xiao S. Li and Jeremy W. Coid
Previous studies that have compared logistic regression (LR), classification and regression tree (CART), and neural networks (NNs) models for their predictive validity have shown inconsistent results in demonstrating superiority of any one model. The three models were tested in a prospective sample of 1225 UK male prisoners followed up for a mean of 3.31 years after release. Items in a widely-used risk assessment instrument (the Historical, Clinical, Risk Management-20, or HCR-20) were used as predictors and violent reconvictions as outcome. Multi-validation procedure was used to reduce sampling error in reporting the predictive accuracy. The low base rate was controlled by using different measures in the three models to minimize prediction error and achieve a more balanced classification. Overall accuracy of the three models varied between 0.59 and 0.67, with an overall AUC range of 0.65–0.72. Although the performance of NNs was slightly better than that of LR and CART models, it did not demonstrate a significant improvement.