Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Michael E. Meyer


Guided by the Institutional Anomie Theory (IAT) of Steven F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (2007), this study examines the strength and interaction of social institutions (economy, education, family and polity) in relationship to homicides occurring in Minneapolis, Minnesota between 2007 and 2011. It utilizes census tracts as the units of analysis, an attempt to extend IAT from the cross-national to the local level. Rather than focusing on specific offenders, it explores broader cultural and structural characteristics employing exploratory, ordinary least squares (OLS), and geographically weighted regressions (GWR). Although interactions did not reach statistical significance, relationships were found between homicides rates and the institutions of family and education.