Scholars often treat family violence as a single category and argue that domestic violence typically reflects conflict over gender roles. Such a focus has been well placed. But if data on domestic homicide in Chicago from 1875 to 1920 are disaggregated by ethnicity and race, important patterns emerge. Domestic homicide, for example, assumed culturally specific forms. German immigrants, Italian immigrants, and African-American Chicagoans killed loved ones for different reasons, at different rates, and with different family members involved. Although the violence revolved around challenges to gender identity and expectations, each group defined such challenges in distinct ways, reflecting a complex blend of cultural assumptions and material circumstances.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.