The Causes of Racial Disturbances: Tests of an Explanation

Spilerman, Seymour

The adequacy of a recently proposed explanation for the location of racial disorders during the 1960's is evaluated in this paper. Two approaches to evaluation are used: (1) The proportion of variation accounted for by the variables assumed to be related to the occurrence of disorders is compared with an estimate of the "maximum explainable proportion of variation," and (2) the structural equation derived from an analysis of the 1961-67 disorders is used to predict the locations of the 1968 disturbances. The conclusions from these investigations support the proposed explanation only with respect to the non-South, but indicate that the distribution of disorders among southern cities has been converging during the late 1960's to the pattern which has been prevalent in the non-South throughout this decade. This finding is interpreted as evidence of the decreasing importance of regional cultures as an intervening factor in the development of black solidarity.


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American Sociological Review

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October 8, 2013