Essays Exploring Urban Violence

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Essays Exploring Urban Violence

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Title: Essays Exploring Urban Violence
Author: Hureau, David Myers
Citation: Hureau, David Myers. 2016. Essays Exploring Urban Violence. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: Despite continued interest in understanding the problem of urban violence in the United States, fundamental scholarly and policy-relevant questions remain regarding the nature of urban violence, its consequences, and the effectiveness of social policy efforts aimed at reducing the harms it causes. This dissertation consists of three papers that address each of these questions. The first paper—developed from collaborative research with Anthony Braga, Tracey Shollenberger, and Christopher Winship—uses quasi-experimental methods to assess the effectiveness of a gang outreach and mediation “streetworker” program in Boston. The second paper turns its focus to the primary tool used in the creation of serious urban violence—the firearm—and makes use of both quantitative and qualitative data to shed light on handgun access and use among those embedded in social networks where gun violence is common. The third paper examines the consequences of exposure to concentrated homicide within a social network of young men that have experienced the deaths of a large number of friends and peers. I close this dissertation by briefly discussing the overarching findings of these papers and their import for social theory and policy.
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