Black Political and Socioeconomic Status Attainment and the Direction of Lethal Violence: Comparing the Suicide of Young Black and White Males in U.S. Counties

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Title: Black Political and Socioeconomic Status Attainment and the Direction of Lethal Violence: Comparing the Suicide of Young Black and White Males in U.S. Counties
Author: Dennis, Kimya Nuru
Advisors: Dr. Charles R. Tittle, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Patty L. McCall, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. William R. Smith, Committee Member
Dr. Maxine S. Thompson, Committee Member
Abstract: The stream of violence theory suggests that there are forces that generate impulses toward violence that can be expressed inwardly in the form of suicide or outwardly in the form of homicide. Whether violent impulses are expressed inwardly or outwardly depend on whether individuals can identify an external source on which to blame their circumstances. There has been greater consensus in the stream of violence research regarding the economic conditions that produce the total amount of lethal violence, but less agreement concerning which factors direct lethal violence inwardly or outwardly. Contemporary stream of violence research has examined variations in suicide among Blacks and whites; whether there is a rise or fall in status markers among Blacks and whites that correspond with the variations in suicide; and whether Blacks and whites respond differently to similar socioeconomic conditions. The present study presents a unique test of the suicide component of the stream of violence theory and focuses on variations in counts of suicide among Blacks and whites in U.S. counties. This study contributes measures of Black empowerment and Black socioeconomic status attainment as forces that direct lethal violence inwardly in the form of suicide or outwardly. Findings reveal partial support for the stream of violence theory through the conditioning effects of the percentage of Black elected officials and the percentage of Blacks in professional and managerial occupations on the relationship between deprivation and suicide. In the young Black male analyses, there is an increase in suicide in larger counties with higher deprivation among Blacks and more Black elected officials. In the young white male analyses, there is a decrease in suicide in larger counties with higher deprivation among whites and more Blacks in higher ranking occupations. There are similar findings for the supplemental analyses of the total Black population and total white population.
Date: 2010-04-09
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6149


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