Collective Violence

Front Cover
Allyn and Bacon, 2000 - Social Science - 152 pages
"Cults, terrorists, genocide, rebellion: these words scream at us daily from various media sources, but they represent group behavior which few people understand or can respond to effectively. "Collective Violence" discusses and analyzes this behavior through the eyes of social change researchers and theorists. This book defines a new subfield in the study of collective behavior and social movements, focusing on the characteristics, history, and structure of violent groups." "Collective Violence" teaches readers how to understand violent group behavior on the only level at which it can be controlled, at the group level. Rather than focusing on the social conditions that may lead to violence or the characteristics of individuals who might join these groups, this book looks at the actual signposts that might be used to predict whether or not a group of activists or a local community grass-roots movement is likely to use violence to achieve its goals. The book is divided into four major sections, with an introductory and concluding chapter. Each of the topical chapters will include examples of the behavior, theories which attempt to explain the behavior, and the methods which institutions and their agents use to control the violence. Some solutions come from within a society as a result of seemingly spontaneous creativity, while others are consciously pursued by organized groups. The authors contend that these violent behaviors do not spring from madness, perversion, or intentional criminality; they begin in the roots of everyday life and mundane issues; and the people who commit these deeds are normal people who become convinced that a time for taking matters into their own hands hascome." For anyone interested in the sociology of group behavior, society, and criminal justice.

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Rationality versus Irrationality
Explaining Collective Violence
Social and Structural Explanations of Collective Behavior

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