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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149371 Find in a Library
Title: Geometry of Violence and Democracy
Author(s): H E Pepinsky
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 151
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University Press
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
Publication Number: ISBN 0-253-34343-7
Sale Source: Indiana University Press
Promotion Manager
601 N. Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book develops the theory that violence and crime are not so much behaviors as they are undemocratic forms of interaction; the only path away from crime and violence is to make democratic interaction in their place.
Abstract: The author defines "democracy" as "the principle that those more affected by a decision are more qualified to make it." "Democracy" or "responsiveness" rests on the perception that actors' objectives are constantly open to negotiation with the persons affected by the action. "Violence" begins where "democracy" ends, as when a rapist decides to go ahead with intercourse without the victim's consent, or a purse snatcher decides to give the victim no chance to resist, or an owner refuses to renegotiate wages with workers. The author acknowledges, however, that democratic interaction in all aspects of individual and collective endeavors is unrealistic. There will always be those who will violate the right of an individual and group to choose what they perceive to be in their best interest. In such cases "resisting" violence to preserve choice and avoid harm from another is necessary. The author cautions, however, that "resisting" violence should be measured to achieve only what is required to avoid adverse consequences from the aggression of another. It becomes "offensive" violence when the actor is safe from harm but then proceeds to invade and violate the rights of the initial perpetrator. This principle is applied to policing and parenting. 120 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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