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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89321 Find in a Library
Title: On Deadly Violence
Author(s): K Svalastoga
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 159
Sponsoring Agency: Norwegian Research Council for Sciences and the Humanities

Oslo 5, Norway
Sale Source: Universitetsforlaget
Box 6589, Rodelokka
Oslo 5,
Language: English
Country: Norway
Annotation: This book provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of theory and research on trends and causes of violent behavior.
Abstract: The opening section of the presentation suggests that all attempts at explaining violent behavior in general can be classified according to the emphasis given to five major factors as causes, accelerators, or amplifiers of violent behavior: organism -- the biology of humans; environment -- social learning; population -- population growth under conditions of limited resources; technology -- the creation of means to expand the effects and increase the severity of violence; and rate of change -- violence resulting from maladjustment in the course of change. In section 2, the operational definition of violence used throughout the book is discussed and is used to measure the demographic importance of death from accidents, suicide, homicide, hierarchical violence (collective violence, revolution, repression), and territorial violence (military and civilian war deaths). Section 3 focuses on operational violence -- accidental death, suicide, and homicide -- by centering on data from the United States, England, Wales, France, and Sweden. Subsequent separate sections are devoted to accidental death, suicide, and homicide. The final sections deal with revolution and war. In discussing revolution, it is noted that such violence tends to decline with increasing industrialization, as this has yielded stronger state organizations and democratic structures that provide numerous mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Inequality or heterogeneity are advised to be the primary conditions favoring hierarchical violence. In estimating war deaths relative to population, a radically different long-term trend is documented by all sources investigated. The primary source is Sorokin, whose data convincingly reveal a long-term increasing casualty rate from war. Both Sorokin and Wright emphasize social change as related to war. The social control of violence is briefly discussed in the summary section. Thirty-six notes and about 250 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Theory; Violence; Violent crime statistics; Violent crimes
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