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NCJ Number: 141318 Find in a Library
Title: Causes and Remedies of Interpersonal Violence Among Greenlandic Inuit (From Self-Sufficiency in Northern Justice Issues, P 351-364, 1992, Curt Taylor Griffiths, ed. -- See NCJ-141302)
Author(s): F B Larsen
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Northern Justice Soc
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Sale Source: Northern Justice Soc
c/o School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6,
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This paper identifies the causes of high rates of violent behavior among the Inuit in Greenland and proposes ways to prevent violence by ameliorating these causes.
Abstract: Traditional conflict management among Greenlandic Inuit was based on personal restraint. The Inuit have deemed it very important to avoid aggressive encounters with other people. This cultural value has conditioned Inuit to suppress anger and avoid expressions of hostility. Although this behavioral norm should apparently reduce violence in a society, studies of the psychology of the violent offender have consistently identified the over-controlled personality, which explodes in extreme violence under persistent or powerful stimuli. There are currently certain factors in Inuit society that fuel violence in the over-controlled personality. One factor is alcohol consumption. Since drinking reduces inhibitory mechanisms, violent behavior is likely to emerge under the influence of alcohol in persons who chronically suppress anger. The context of drinking can also provide the kind of stimuli likely to erode the suppressive mechanisms of the over-controlled personality. In addition to drinking, there are sources of stress in the social environment that can fuel violence in the over-controlled personality. Some of these are the prevalence of jealousy in a society marked by high numbers of sexual partners, changing gender relations in which traditional male ego-reinforcing roles are being eroded, and related sex-identity conflicts. Violence- prevention strategies should address drinking behavior and healthy means of conflict avoidance. The strategy for changing drinking behavior should consist of restrictions on availability, education, symbolic politics that encourages moderate drinking, and treatment. The development of effective skills in conflict resolution and intervention should be taught in primary and secondary schools.
Main Term(s): Violence causes; Violence prevention
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Alcohol-Related Offenses; Conflict resolution; Crime in foreign countries; Greenland
Note: From a workshop at the fifth meeting of the Northern Justice Society held in Sitka, Alaska, April 1991.
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