Alcohol Establishments and their Relationship to Violence
Jon R. Fernander
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Most communities in the United States, with the exception of “dry” communities, have establishments that sell alcohol. These establishments range in type from restaurants and bars to convenience and liquor stores. It seems likely to me that the density of these establishments would tend to be higher in more heavily-populated areas. For instance, the city of Chattanooga has numerous restaurants, bars, and convenience and liquor stores in the downtown area alone, while the rural, less-populated community of Cowan just an hour west of Chattanooga has a limited number of the same types of establishments. Of particular concern when considering establishments that serve alcohol is whether or not the rate of crime in the area is affected by an establishment’s presence. As stated by Iadicola and Shupe (2013) in Violence, Inequality, and Human Freedom, “Of all drugs that are either outlawed or regulated, alcohol has the greatest link to violence” (p. 118). The authors of the article titled “The Association Between Density of Alcohol Establishments and Violent Crime Within Urban Neighborhoods” (2012) realized that previous attempts to analyze the effects that establishments serving alcohol have on rates of violent crime in a given area failed to account for differences in the types of establishments and types of crimes. Desiring to conduct a study that would yield more detailed results, the authors of this study conducted research that distinguished between types of establishments and multiple types of crime.
The study described by Toomey et al. (2012) in “The Association Between Density of Alcohol Establishments ...
... middle of paper ...
...instances in which the researchers noted limitations of their study. I appreciated being aware of the limitations (e.g., possibly using outdated Census data) because they could affect some aspects of the study. Overall, I feel like the researchers conducted an interesting and relevant study that is worthy of attention, and I hope that similar studies will be conducted across the country to test this study’s generalizability.
Iadicola, P., & Shupe, A. (2013). Violence, inequality, and human freedom (3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Toomey, T. L., Erickson, D. J., Carlin, B. P., Lenk, K. M., Quick, H. S., Jones, A. M., & Harwood, E. M. (2012). The association between density of alcohol establishments and violent crime within urban neighborhoods. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36, 1468-1473. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01753.x
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