Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 30 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Richard Lachmann

Committee Members

Joanne M Kaufman, Brandon C Gorman


Self-defense (Law), Firearms, Crime prevention, Home ownership, Housing policy

Subject Categories



Despite the strong and sustained public reaction to the passage of self-defense statutes known as Stand Your Ground laws, little existing scholarship exists which seeks to investigate the popularity of such laws, which are now applicable in the majority of American states. Utilizing Census, Housing and Urban Development data as well as a unique dataset constructed by Princeton’s Evictionlab project, I analyze the relationship between the presence or absence of SYG laws and housing security, utilizing data from two states that have such laws and two that do not. Because SYG laws are predicated on the Castle Doctrine and the unique moral status of domestic space in the Anglo-American legal tradition, one would expect that some relationship exists between housing security and the successful passage and retention of such laws, though the nature of such a notional relationship has yet to be articulated. This study anticipates that states with greater housing security are more likely to have such laws. I construct a housing insecurity index from four state-level factors (housing tenure, housing cost burden, eviction rate, and homelessness estimate) and find that a multi-dimensional construct of housing insecurity is indeed positively correlated with the presence of such laws, though causal order and direction cannot be inferred from the analyses here performed.

Included in

Sociology Commons