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Social Structure, Race/Ethnicity, and Homocide

Social Structure, Race/Ethnicity, and Homocide

As discussed, the murder rates for Blacks in the United States are substantially higher than those for Whites, with Latino murder rates falling in the middle. These differences have existed throughout the 20th and into the 21st century and, with few exceptions, are found in different sections of the United States. Although biological and genetic explanations for racial differences in crime rates, including murder, have been discredited and are no longer accepted by most criminologists, both cultural and structural theories are widespread in the literature on crime and violence. It is also important to remember that Latino is an ethnic rather than a racial classification. The point of this exercise is to examine differences in selected structural positions of Blacks, Whites and Latinos in the United States that may help explain long-standing differences in their murder rates.


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