Violence A Micro-Sociological Theory

ISBN-10: 0691143226

ISBN-13: 9780691143224

Edition: 2009

Authors: Randall Collins
List price: $32.95 Buy it from $29.27
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Description: In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view inViolence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. Violenceoverturns standard views about the root causes of violence and offers solutions for confronting it in the future.

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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/23/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 584
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.046
Language: English

List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
The Micro-sociology of Violent Confrontations
Violent Situations
Micro-evidence: Situational Recordings, Reconstructions, and Observations
Comparing Situations across Types of Violence
Fight Myths
Violent Situations Are Shaped by an Emotional Field of Tension and Fear
Alternative Theoretical Approaches
Historical Evolution of Social Techniques for Controlling Confrontational Tension
Sources
Preview
The Complementarity of Micro and Macro Theories
The Dirty Secrets of Violence
Confrontational Tension and Incompetent Violence
Brave, Competent and Evenly Matched?
The Central Reality: Confrontational Tension
Tension/Fear and Non-performance in Military Combat
Low Fighting Competence
Friendly Fire and Bystander Hits
Joy of Combat: Under What Conditions?
The Continuum of Tension/Fear and Combat Performance
Confrontational Tension in Policing and Non-Military Fighting
Fear of What?
Forward Panic
Confrontational Tension and Release: Hot Rush, Piling On, Overkill
Atrocities of War
Caveat: The Multiple Causation of Atrocities
Asymmetrical Entrainment of Forward Panic and Paralyzed Victims
Forward Panics and One-Sided Casualties in Decisive Battles
Atrocities of Peace
Crowd Violence
Demonstrators and Crowd-Control Forces
The Crowd Multiplier
Alternatives to Forward Panic
Attacking the Weak: I. Domestic Abuse
The Emotional Definition of the Situation
Background and Foreground Explanations
Abusing the Exceptionally Weak: Time-patterns from Normalcy to Atrocity
Three Pathways: Normal Limited Conflict, Severe Forward Panic, and Terroristic Torture Regime
Negotiating Interactional Techniques of Violence and Victimhood
Attacking the Weak: II. Bullying, Mugging, and Holdups
The Continuum of Total Institutions
Muggings and Holdups
Battening on Interactional Weakness
Cleaned-up and Staged Violence
Staging Fair Fights
Hero versus Hero
Audience Supports and Limits on Violence
Fighting Schools and Fighting Manners
Displaying Risk and Manipulating Danger in Sword and Pistol Duels
The Decline of Elite Dueling and Its Replacement by the Gunfight
Honor without Fairness: Vendettas as Chains of Unbalanced Fights
Ephemeral Situational Honor and Leap-Frog Escalation to One-Gun Fights
Behind the Facade of Honor and Disrespect
The Cultural Prestige of Fair and Unfair Fights
Violence as Fun and Entertainment
Moral Holidays
Looting and Destruction as Participation Sustainers
The Wild Party as Elite Potlatch
Carousing Zones and Boundary Exclusion Violence
End-Resisting Violence
Frustrated Carousing and Stirring up Effervescence
Paradox: Why Does Most Intoxication Not Lead to Violence?
The One-Fight-Per-Venue Limitation
Fighting as Action and Fun
Mock Fights and Mosh Pits
Sports Violence
Sports as Dramatically Contrived Conflicts
Game Dynamics and Player Violence
Winning by Practical Skills for Producing Emotional Energy Dominance
The Timing of Player Violence: Loser-Frustration Fights and Turning-Point Fights
Spectators' Game-Dependent Violence
Offsite Fans' Violence: Celebration and Defeat Riots
Offsite Violence as Sophisticated Technique: Soccer Hooligans
The Dramatic Local Construction of Antagonistic Identities
Revolt of the Audience in the Era of Entertainers' Domination
Dynamics and Structure of Violent Situations
How Fights Start, or Not
Normal Limited Acrimony: Griping, Whining, Arguing, Quarreling
Boasting and Blustering
The Code of the Street: Institutionalized Bluster and Threat
Pathways into the Tunnel of Violence
The Violent Few
Small Numbers of the Actively and Competently Violent
Confrontation Leaders and Action-Seekers: Police
Who Wins?
Military Snipers: Concealed and Absorbed in Technique
Fighter Pilot Aces: Aggressively Imposing Momentum
In the Zone versus the Glaze of Combat: Micro-situational Techniques of Interactional Dominance
The 9/11 Cockpit Fight
Violence as Dominance in Emotional Attention Space
What Does the Rest of the Crowd Do?
Violence without Audiences: Professional Killers and Clandestine Violence
Confrontation-Minimizing Terrorist Tactics
Violent Niches in Confrontational Attention Space
Epilogue
Practical Conclusions
Notes
References
Index
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