Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



American Journal of Sociology Jul 2010, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp. 130 - 186.


Copyright 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.


A spatial analysis of data for French départements assembled in the 1830s by André-Michel Guerry and Adolphe d’Angeville examines the impacts of modernization and resistance to governmental “Frenchification” policies on measures of violence and its direction. In the context of Unnithan et al.’s integrated model of suicide and homicide, high suicide rates in the northern core and a predilection for violence against others in the southern periphery may be consistently interpreted in terms of theories of the civilizing process and internal colonialism. Alternative explanations of southern violence in 19th-century France are explored and rejected, and additional theoretical applications are suggested.