The Impact of Racial/Ethnic Change on Crime in LA

The Co-PI's of this research, John Hipp and George Tita, are focusing on “South Los Angeles,” a high-crime area of the city that has a long history of street gangs, concentrated disadvantage, and high levels of crime and violence. South Los Angeles continues to undergo a major shift in population demographics. Historically, the local residential population was comprised of a significant African-American majority, however, Latinos are now the numerically dominant group. The goal of this study is to better understand how this racial/ethnic succession impacts levels and patterns of intra- and inter-group violence. Our expectations regarding changes in violence are based upon such sociological theories as social disorganization theory, group-threat theory, consolidated inequality theory, and the defended neighborhood model. Each of these offer predictions regarding how such transition will impact intra-group or inter-group crime.