Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Zoann Snyder

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lonnie Duncan


hip hop, inner-city, black, crime reporting, snitch, African American


The “stop snitching” phenomenon is a social epidemic that is affecting inner cities from coast to coast. These street politics have an adverse effect on the way individuals in the inner city view cooperation with police. With hip hop culture claiming a larger stake on the global stage, and mainstream artists sparking attention by denouncing cooperation with authorities while reproving others that choose to do so, this research examines if a relationship exists between individuals that adhere to the “code of silence” and self-professed hip hoppers. While much has been written about the significance of hip hop culture on the lives of inner city residents, quantitative research has not been employed to measure how crime reporting is viewed among its followers.

Using the culture of terror theory developed by anthropologist Michael Taussig (1987) and Shaw and McKay’s (1942) social disorganization theory, this mixed methods-based research examines how the “code of silence” affects crime reporting in the inner city. Employing an online survey administered through the social networking website, Facebook, this research departs from traditional sampling frames and purely theoretical claims by scrutinizing current hip hop lyrics and revealing if following hip hop culture serves as a predictor of behavior compared to others that prefer other genres as their primary music choice. The results signify a correlation between musical preference and attitudes towards crime reporting, with an overwhelming majority of hip hop fans consenting to collaborate with law enforcement. The specifics of these results are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access