Routine activities and a subculture of violence: A study of violence on the street

Leslie W. Kennedy, Stephen W. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Research using the routine activities perspective has relied on official crime statistics, victimization surveys, and demographic variables for data. Findings from this work indicates that the degree of exposure that individuals experience following certain lifestyle patterns increases property and personal crime victimization. A qualitative study of a delinquent street group reveals that the routine activities approach is insufficient in explaining how interactions escalate to violence. Instead it points to the need to expand the routine activities approach to include a choice component and integrate it with a subcultural approach. Subcultural norms influence actors' routine activities that, in turn, influence exposure to victimization and shape the behavioral choices available to members in response to victimization. Subcultures, routines, and choices also influence offending patterns. Subcultural values affect the choice of victims, and third parties appear to influence the “rules of the game,” and the amount of violence that takes place. Third parties offer subcultural support for violence, serving as allies, and helping to instigate conflict at the same time as serving as capable guardians to reduce victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-112
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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