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American Crime - An International Anomaly?

NCJ Number
Comparative Social Research Volume: 8 Dated: (1985) Pages: 81-95
L I Shelley
Date Published
15 pages
This article offers a comparative analysis of American crime through an analysis of selected data, historical studies, crime trend research, criminal statistics, and the United Nations survey of crime trends around the world.
Compared to other industrialized nations, the United States has much higher crime rates. While such explanations as the frontier mentality, regional cultures of violence, and the vestiges of slavery might contribute to an understanding of violent crime rates; property crime rates also are exceedingly high. These high rates, particulary the rapid increase in the post-war era, require an explanation more broadly based in the American experience. Urbanization and industrialization, coupled with mass migration, have had tremendous impact on the class structure of the urban population, the drug problem, family structure, and social values. It is likely that these factors have contributed to both the quantity and quality of crime in America. 2 tables and 46 references.


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