Date of Award

4-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Carlson

Second Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Institutional anomie theory, developed by Messner and Rosenfeld (1994), explains variations in crime rates across geographic areas and time as resulting from the interrelationship between social institutions and culture. Their theory predicts that when the institution of the economy dominates all other social institutions, and when norms and values focus heavily on monetary success, crime rates will be higher than when there is less dominance of the economy. Institutional anomie theory has been tested using a number of different methods and data from county-level to international-level aggregates. This study addresses the research question of whether variations in crime victimization can be explained across European nations using institutional anomie theory, and whether relationships specified by the theory have changed across time as the European Union has adopted neoliberal labor and welfare policies. The study uses hierarchical generalized linear modeling to test for variations in crime victimization across European countries at four points in time. Using survey data from the European Social Survey, I develop measures of social institutions, and macro-level measures of social institutions that provide a unique test of Messner and Rosenfeld's theory.

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Criminology Commons

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