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How Drug Dealers Settle Disputes: Violent and Nonviolent Outcomes

Angela P. Taylor
ISBN: 978-1-881798-76-7
2007/234 pages
Qualitative Studies in Crime and Justice, Volume 1
A CriminalJusticePress Project
"It may very well mark the beginning of a new era of research dedicated to explaining nonviolent confict management in the illicit drug world."—Scott Jacques, Criminal Justice Review

"By undertaking the considerable work of interviewing drug dealers and presenting their words to readers, Taylor's book has much to offer students of everyday violence."—Scott Grills, Contemporary Sociology


In this compelling ethnographic study, Angela Taylor delivers an inside view of how drug dealers settle disputes—yielding rich insight into situational theories of violence and the nature of the drug trade.

Taylor draws on firsthand accounts to address the following questions: What are the characteristics of drug-business disputes? How do such disputes move from initial confrontation to the final result? Do violent disputes differ in kind or degree from nonviolent ones? And, are situational factors (such as the presence of weapons or third parties and participants’ drug use) significant determinants of violent versus nonviolent outcomes? Her analysis reveals the unwritten rules of the illicit drug trade and suggests new directions for violence-prevention efforts.   


Angela P. Taylor is assistant professor of criminal justice at Fayetteville State University.


  • Foreword—Mercer L. Sullivan.
  • Introduction. Methods.
  • Drug Dealers: Social and Criminal Contexts.
  • Drug Dealer Conflicts.
  • Variations in Dispute Outcomes.
  • Event Processes in Drug-Business Disputes: Mutual Respect and Solvability.
  • Perceptions of Risk in Drug-Business Dispute Outcomes.
  • A Sequence Analysis of Drug-Business Dispute Conflicts.
  • Conclusions.