The myth of a subculture of corporal punishment.Hum.

Cultural and economic sources of homicide in the United States.Sociological Quart. 29: 371–390.

Randolph Roth takes issue with the culture of honor thesis in his :

Smith (1979) employs interviews and survey research to examine the applicability of the subculture of violence thesis in relation to professional hockey players in Toronto, Ontario. His sample consisted of three different populations of men between the ages of 12 and 21. While the first two consisted of house-league hockey players and competitive hockey players, the third comprised non-hockey players. A total of 520 hockey players and 180 non-hockey players participated in the study, which was conducted in April of 1976. The interviewees in all groups hailed from various socio-economic backgrounds.

To live-and die—in Dixie: A contribution to the study of southern violence.Polit.


By contrast, the life-course/developmental and integrative models were judged to be superior explanations, as most of these, tried to account for all four dimensions of the interpersonal typology of violence. Such models as Moffitt’s two-pronged theory of adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior, Sampson and Laub’s theory of informal social control and cumulative disadvantage, and Messerschmidt’s theory of gender diversity and violence, all recognize the interactive, reciprocal, and dialectical relationships leading to violent and nonviolent behavioral outcomes. While these models are, indeed, an improvement over the primarily ad hoc one-dimensional models, these explanations also reveal themselves to be incomplete. Though they usually account for internal as well as external motivations and constraints at the interpersonal level, they generally ignore similar interactive, reciprocal, and dialectical relationships involving the structural and at times, the institutional, domains of violence. Finally, omitted from these explanations of violence are the reciprocal or mutually reinforcing relationships between the spheres of interpersonal, institutional, and structural violence and nonviolence.

A Note on the Southern Subculture of Violence Thesis

Crime was also not tolerated in the rural south of the 19th century; violence as a response to crime, or to pre-empt crime, was. This belief continued well into the 20th century, as , due to the overwhelmingly large black population, created both vigilante justice in the form of the Klan, which evolved into de facto vigilante justice from law enforcement itself, further undermining faith in just laws and a stable government: “After the Civil War, [slave patrols] seamlessly morphed into the Ku Klux Klan, the Red Shirts and other extra-legal organizations with the same purpose: to keep the black population cowed and under control. Fear of the black population is also why Southern society long accepted brutality in law enforcement to a greater degree than other parts of the country did.”

violence. In other words, it may be more viable to view violence as a product of the

Culture.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Pp. B14-16.

Perhaps the most well-known, controversial and widely examined ethnographic exploration of the African-American subculture of violence thesis is Anderson’s (1999) A Code of the Streets. Anderson’s work is notable for its use of ethnography and narrative to examine the applicability of the subculture of violence framework to an inner-city, low-income African-American neighbourhood in Philadelphia. Unlike Wolfgang and Ferracuti, Anderson does not infer the existence of subcultures of violence based on statistical indicators of high rates of violence in poor racialized neighbourhoods. Rather, he attempts to explore in detail the meanings of and motivations for violence amongst those who are thought to be enmeshed within the subcultures of violence. Anderson’s key question is, “why it is that so many inner city young people are inclined to commit aggression and violence towards one another” (Anderson, 1999: 90)? Hoping to elucidate the cultural and social dynamics that foster internecine violence in the urban core of Philadelphia, Anderson engaged in four years of participant-observation and in-depth interviews with residents in a neighbourhood along Germantown Avenue.

Scots-Irish women and the Southern culture of violence.

Is it crazy to think that British folkways were the seed of American violence? Perhaps not. America’s legal system is intimately tied to British common law, where we get habeas corpus and jury trials. , the first significant Second Amendment decision of the 20th century, is based in Blackstone, The Wealth of Nations, and the colonial history of militias, divining the limits of gun control in the gangster era from 17th-century militia laws. It’s not unthinkable that the codes outlining the use of power and violence, particularly in places where there was less recourse to the law, have also followed the same principle of stare decisis.

Revisiting the Southern Culture of Violence - …

The two other externally constrained explanations of family violence are of a negative kind. That is to say, exchange theory is essentially a cost-benefit analysis of violence. “People hit and abuse other family members because they can” (Gelles 1983: 157). Similarly, the resource theory argues that the family member with the most power or aggregate value of resources (e.g., money, property, prestige, strength) in society, traditionally the male, commands higher power in the marital and family relationships than other members, namely, women and children who are in subordinate and vulnerable positions (Blood and Wolfe 1960). Like exchange theory, resource theory views violence in the nuclear family as a product of a lack of external constraints.