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NCJ Number: 64262 Find in a Library
Title: VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS AND ACTORS - A SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONIST STUDY
Author(s): L H ATHENS
Corporate Author: Crane, Russak and Co, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 133
Sponsoring Agency: Crane, Russak and Co, Inc
Bristol, PA 19007
Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
Boston, MA 02108
Sale Source: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
9 Park Street
Boston, MA 02108
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY OF VIOLENT CRIMINALITY IS MADE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM, WHICH EXPLAINS ACTION THROUGH THE ACTOR'S SELF-IMAGE AND OWN JUDGMENT OF THE SITUATION.
Abstract: A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL THEORIES OF VIOLENT CRIMINALITY CONSIDERS THE EXTERNAL PATTERN APPROACH, THE PERSONALITY APPROACH, AND THE INTEGRATED APPROACH. ALL THREE ARE POSITIVISTIC, INTERPRETING HUMAN ACTION BY EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF ANTECEDENT FACTORS AND OVERT CONDUCT. IN CONTRAST, THIS APPROACH IS INTERPRETIVE, RECOGNIZING HUMAN ACTION AS SITUATED, AND THE HUMAN BEING AS ACTOR. THE VIEWPOINT OF THE PERSON WHOSE ACTIONS ARE UNDER STUDY IS EXPLICITLY TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN EXPLAINING CONDUCT. SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM IS USED TO ANALYZE INDEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH 58 OFFENDERS CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE. DATA WERE GATHERED BY HAVING SUBJECTS DESCRIBE IN DETAIL WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE SITUATIONS IN WHICH THEY COMMITTED THEIR VIOLENT CRIMES AND WHAT WENT ON IN THEIR MINDS WHILE THE SITUATIONS WERE UNFOLDING. QUOTATIONS FROM THESE INTERVIEWS ARE USED TO SUBSTANTIATE CATEGORIES IDENTIFIED FOR VIOLENT CRIMINALITY. THE FINDINGS SHOW THAT VIOLENT ACTORS FORM INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SITUATIONS IN WHICH THEY PERFORM VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS AND THAT THESE INTERPRETATIONS DETERMINE THE ACTS. THIS CONTRADICTS PREVIOUS LITERATURE WHICH ARGUES THAT VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS RESULT FROM UNCONSCIOUS MOTIVATION AND INNER PSYCHIC CONFLICT. HOWEVER, IT WAS FOUND THAT NOT ALL VIOLENT INTERPRETATIONS RESULT IN VIOLENT ACTION, AND FURTHER RESEARCH IS RECOMMENDED IN THIS AREA. NOTES, DATA ON CONVICTED VIOLENT OFFENDERS, PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION OF VIOLENT ACTORS AND ACTS, A BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND AN INDEX ARE APPENDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Behavior; Crime patterns; Criminality prediction; Personality; Psychological theories; Violent crimes; Violent offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64262

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