Using multiple data sources and methods, this book involves a micro-historical analysis of the nature of change and stability in homicide situations over time. It focuses on the homicide situation as the unit of analysis, and explores similarities and differences in the context of homicide for different social groups. For example, using Qualitative Comparative Analysis, we investigate whether various social groups (e.g., men vs women, teenagers vs adults, strangers vs intimates, Blacks vs Whites) kill under qualitatively different circumstances and, if so, what are the characteristics of these unique profiles. The analysis of over 400,000 US homicides is supplemented with qualitative analysis of narrative accounts of homicide events to more fully investigate the structure and process underlying these lethal situations. Our findings of unique and common homicide situations across different time periods and social groups are then discussed in terms of their implications for criminological theory and public policy.
Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction: studying homicide situations; 2. Theoretical development; 3. Data and methodology for studying homicide situations; 4. The empirical distribution of homicide; 5. Instrumental and expressive motives in homicide situations; 6. Gender differences in the structure of homicide situations; 7. Change and stability in the structure of youth homicide; 8. Racial differences in homicide situations; 9. Victim/offender relationships; 10. Conclusions and implications.