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The Increasing Significance of Race: The Effects of Race and Immigration on Violent and Property Crime for White, Black, and Latino Neighborhoods
Reedus, LaTashia Renee

2010, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Sociology.

The purpose of this research project is to examine the impact of race and ethnicity on neighborhood crime rates. Specifically, I examine the trends in rates of violent and property crime across white, black, and Latino neighborhoods. Current theoretical approaches have argued that the social structures that exist in different racial/ethnic neighborhood types are largely responsible for differences in the rates of violent and property crime experienced by the three neighborhood types. While previous studies have focused on these crime differences at the city level, I seek to examine these patterns at the neighborhood level. I analyze the level of neighborhood crime according to key sociodemographic factors that previous studies have shown play a role in the relationship between race and crime. I also take a closer look at the effect of immigration on differences in crime rates when looking just at minority neighborhoods.

I use data found in the National Neighborhood Crime Survey for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001. I compare mean rates of violent and property crime for white, black, and Latino neighborhoods in general and descriptive analyses according to several sociodemographic variables (poverty, unemployment, disadvantage and residential instability). I also conduct bivariate and multivariate analyses on these independent test variables, while controlling for other variables based on previous criminological research.


I find that black and Latino areas experience higher rates of violent and property crime than white areas. Furthermore, black areas have higher rates of violent and property crime than both white and Latino areas. Of key note is that Latino rates of crime are closer to those for white neighborhoods than they are for black areas. I also find that high levels of poverty, unemployment, disadvantage and residential instability are positively correlated with high rates of violent and property crime. Seeing that black neighborhoods are more likely to fall into the high range for these four characteristics, it is of no surprise that this may explain the high crime within black areas.


Another finding reflects the importance of immigration in the study of race and crime. The research findings indicate that areas that have a large presence of immigrants experience lower levels of crime than other areas. In fact, the results find that the presence of immigrants has a negative effect on crime for all three neighborhood types in the study, as areas with large numbers of immigrants have lower crime rates, and in some instances actually show a decline in the rates of violent and property crime as the numbers of immigrants increases.

Lauren J. Krivo, PhD (Advisor)
Ruth D. Peterson, PhD (Committee Member)
Townsand Price-Spratlen, PhD (Committee Member)
160 p.

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Reedus, L. (2010). The Increasing Significance of Race: The Effects of Race and Immigration on Violent and Property Crime for White, Black, and Latino Neighborhoods. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Reedus, LaTashia. "The Increasing Significance of Race: The Effects of Race and Immigration on Violent and Property Crime for White, Black, and Latino Neighborhoods." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 27 Mar 2015.

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Reedus, LaTashia "The Increasing Significance of Race: The Effects of Race and Immigration on Violent and Property Crime for White, Black, and Latino Neighborhoods." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2010. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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