Reintegrative shaming theory (RST) argues that social aggregates characterized by high levels of communitarianism and nonstigmatizing shaming practices benefit from relatively low levels of crime. We combine aggregate measures from the World Values Survey with available macro-level data to test this hypothesis. Additionally, we examine the extent to which communitarianism and shaming mediate the effects of cultural and structural factors featured prominently in other macro-level theoretical frameworks (e.g., inequality, modernity, sex ratio, etc.). Findings provide some support for RST, showing homicide to vary with societal levels of communitarianism and informal stigmatization. However, while the effects of modernity and sex ratio were mediated by RST processes, suppression was indicated for economic inequality. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science