Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Code of the Streets
Mark T. Berg & Eric A. Stewart
Explanations for racial disparities in violence are tailored to further an understanding of variation at both the individual and aggregate levels of analyses. Commonly, conceptual arguments refer to the social-structural arrangements of society as a key cause of unlawful behavior. Many in fact look to the neighborhood for the sources of violence. Even the most disadvantaged Whites likely do not reside in a neighborhood approximating the impoverished conditions of moderately poor Blacks. Some attribute high rates of violent crime by Blacks to these conditions. But few claim that the disproportionate level of lethal crime committed by Blacks is an absolute product of structural forces existing at the state, city, or neighborhood level. Theorists argue that abstract properties intervene in the causal pathway, linking conditions like poverty, joblessness, and family structure to the individual's likelihood of engaging in violence. Elijah Anderson's term, the “code of the streets,” represents a variant of ...