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NCJ Number: 69566 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: On the Appeals of Extremism to the Youth of Affluent, Democratic Societies
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:4  Issue:1-4  Dated:(1980)  Pages:161-193
Author(s): H A Kampf
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The appeal of extremism to affluent youths results from the gap between 20th century progress made in the expansion of knowledge and material wealth and people's ability to adjust their lives to this change.
Abstract: The extremist appeal is basically psychological, originating in problems and maladjustments far more widespread in the late 20th century than ever before. Confusion and lack of direction have been a direct result of both the complexity of modern crises and the growth in knowledge and achievements which have undermined traditional values and institutions. Modern youths are facing a psychological-spiritual void, with lack of order and discipline generating excessive permissiveness. An exaggerated youthful rebellion has arisen from the great gap between the generations of a constantly changing world and has been encouraged by the breakdown of family life. Frustrations caused by these conditions seem to require aggressive behavior as an outlet. Groups most affected are those that are most thoroughly modernized and enjoy the most leisure, material comfort, education, and sophistication. They have permissive home environments, and, consequently, are the most cynical. Many of these affluent youths have been exposed to such conditions since birth and have not had the chance to adjust. Being young, their temperament matches the extremist mentality; in the peculiar environment of the university, they are still more susceptible to extremism. Moreover, in the environment of affluent youths, fashions spread easily and hold their followers in a powerful grip. Thus, the appeals of extremism are essentially psychological problems affecting basically normal people and occur as an unfortunate consequence of an otherwise praiseworthy modern world. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Alienation; Attitudes toward authority; Cultural influences; Hostility; Psychological theories; Terrorism causes; Terrorist profiles; United States of America; Western Europe; Youth (Under 15)
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