Neighborhood dynamics of urban violence: Understanding the immigration connection

Jorge M. Chavez, Elizabeth Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Social disorganization is the dominant framework linking neighborhood patterns of immigration to local rates of crime and violence despite inconsistent findings and evidence to the contrary. Using tract-level census data from 1970 to 1990 and Chicago homicide data from 1980 to 1995, this study explores whether and how the changing face of immigration is (un)related to homicide patterns within the contemporary urban environment. The results show that stable and consistent growth in foreign born is not associated with neighborhood trends in violence, whereas growth in recent arrivals occurs almost exclusively within the safest neighborhoods of the city. This research highlights the need to distinguish recent waves of immigrants/migrants from their historic counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalHomicide Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Law


  • Foreign born
  • Homicide trajectories
  • Neighborhoods
  • Recent immigrant


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