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Book Chapter

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This chapter examines violence and aggression among crack and other illicit drug sellers in New York City. Few studies have addressed the origins of drug selling, specifically whether such drug violence reflects generalized violence or violent behaviors contingent on drug selling. Aggression in crack selling appears to be commonplace and severe (Goldstein et al., unpublished manuscript; Goldstein 1989; Johnson, et al. 1990; New York Times 1989b) and is the focus of this study. Aggression evident in nondrug criminality is compared for crack sellers and other seller types. If violence in drug selling is a distinct behavior that reflects the contingencies of the unregulated marketplace, participation of sellers in nondrug violence will be less evident. However, if violence in drug selling involves processes of self-selection of generally violent individuals, their participation in nondrug violent crimes will be extensive. This interpretation would further suggest that systemic violence in drug selling is spuriously related to other etiological factors in violence and crime commission, rather than a function of unique social processes of drug selling.


Criminal Law | Law | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance