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An Investigation of the Southern Subculture of Violence: Structural and Cultural Predictors of an Expanded Conceptualization of Violence




Weston, Andrea

Type of Degree





This research investigates the impact of both structural and cultural variables on regional variations in rates of homicide and aggravated assault. Particular attention is given to the influence of conservative Protestantism as a measure of Southern regional culture and to expanding the construct of violence beyond a narrow focus on homicide. Based on 2000 Census data, four separate one least squares regression models for 3,109 U.S. counties suggest that the influence of Southern culture on rates of homicide and aggravated assault is diminishing over time. This research provides statistical evidence that rates of violence in western regions or the U.S. are converging with, if not surpassing those of the South. The theoretical significance of the findings and implications for future research are discussed.