Violence: The Enduring Problem, Third Edition
By Alex Alvarez and Ronet Bachman
- As American as Apple Pie
The Spillover Effect
The Context of Violence
Reports to Law Enforcement Officials
Measuring Offending Behavior
Violence and US Society
- Explaining Violence
Ethological and Biological Explanations of Violence
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Stress and Violence
Sociological Explanations of Violence
Social Learning Theory
Social Learning, Media, and Violence
The Cycle of Violence
Self-Control and Violence
Informal Social Control
Explaining Collective Violence
- Aiding and Abetting Violence
Guns and Violence
Guns, Culture, and Violence
What Are We Doing About Guns?
Gun Control Legislation
What Are We Doing About Alcohol and Drugs?
The Media and Violence
- Assault and Murder: A Continuum of Violence
Defining Assault and Homicide
Estimates of Assault
When Assaults Become Lethal—Homicide
Mass Murder in the Workplace
Mass Murder at School
Characteristics of Serial Murderers
What Are We Doing About Murder?
- Violence in the Home
Intimate Partner Violence
How Many Victims of Intimate Partner Violence Are There?
The National Crime Victimization Survey
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence
Power and Dominance
What Are We Doing About IPV?
Unintended Consequences of Mandatory Arrest Policies
Civil Protection Orders
Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence
Violence in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Relationships
What Are We Doing About Stalking?
Risk Factors for Physical Child Abuse
What Are We Doing About Physical Child Abuse?
Risk Factors for Elder Abuse
What Are We Doing About Elder Abuse?
- Rape and Sexual Assault
How Many Rape and Sexual Assault Victims Are There?
Demographic Factors Related to Victimization From the NISVS
Rape and Sexual Molestation of Children
Rape on College Campuses
In Focus 6.1 Arizona State Student Receives Civil Settlement for Rape
Rape In Prison
In Focus 6.2 Rape in Prison
Rape and the US Military
Genocide and Rape
In Focus 6.3 The Story of Maria—A Survivor of Rape and Genocide
Factors Related to Rape
Power and Dominance
What Are We Doing About Rape?
- Stranger Danger and Violence in the Streets
Why Do They Do It?
Robbery in Action
Female Robbery Offenders
What Are We Doing About Robbery?
Violent Hate Crimes
What Are We Doing About Hate Crime?
In Focus 7.1 The Internet, Hate Groups, and the Emergence of the Lone Wolf
Street Gang Violence
What Are We Doing About Street Gang Violence?
- Crowd Violence
Mobs and Crowds
In Focus 8.1 The New York Draft Riots
In Focus 8.2 Vigilantism in Flagstaff
In Focus 9.1 September 11 and Al Qaeda
Differences Between Terrorism and Guerrilla Warfare
History of Terrorism
How Frequent Are Terrorist Acts?
Types of Terrorism
Who Becomes a Terrorist?
In Focus 9.2 Portrait of a Terrorist: Mohamed Atta
Tactics and Weapons
Weapons of Mass Destruction
What Are We Doing About Terrorism?
The United Nations Definition of Genocide
In Focus 10.1 Genocide Convention
20th Century Genocide
Why Do Genocides Happen?
Precursors to Genocide
Perpetrators of Genocide
Victims of Genocide
When People Do Nothing: The Bystanders to Genocide
In Focus 10.2 The Genocide in Darfur
What Are We Doing About Genocide?
- Toward Violence Prevention
Costs of Violence
How Do We Know What Works?
Criminal Justice Responses to Violence
Helping Individuals Reenter Society After Prison
Violence as a Public Health Problem
The third edition of Violence: The Enduring Problem refines our attempt to write a broad interdisciplinary book that analyzes the patterns and correlates of interpersonal and collective violence using the most contemporary research, theories, and cases. We believe that we have succeeded in creating a book that should help you make better sense of the nature and dynamics of a variety of different, yet connected, forms of violence. Relying on a wide range of contemporary and historical sources, we explore a number of different types of individual and collective violence that includes homicide, assault, rape, domestic violence, robberies, genocide, riots, lynching, and terrorism. In this edition, we have also added new discussions on a variety of topics, including police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement, rape in the military, gang violence, and the Islamic State. We have also dramatically revised our concluding chapter on intervention and prevention to more comprehensively address current initiatives and policies designed to address violence from both a criminal justice and a public health perspective. Many discussions from the previous editions––such as those on riots, guns, and gun control––have also been enhanced to better reflect the complexities and new developments in those areas. Consequently, we believe that this edition represents a significant step forward in presenting a more complete and contemporary analysis and discussion of violence than is generally found elsewhere.
We were compelled to write this book primarily because violence remains one of the most pressing issues facing our nation and our world. Every day we are confronted with new examples of the violence that individuals and groups inflict on their fellow human beings. These events instill a sense of fear and distrust in us that undermines our belief in each other and in our communities. In fact, the fear of violence consistently ranks as one of the most important issues facing American society, according to many public opinion polls. Unfortunately, the social and political debates on violence are all too often based on polemics, misinformation, emotion, and stereotypes. It is our hope that this book provides more of an empirically based and rational counterpoint to the discourse on violence.
This book differs from many of the other books on violence in a number of important regards. Our approach is interdisciplinary, whereas many other texts tend to approach the issue from the viewpoint of a specific discipline. We firmly believe that studying violence from the perspective of only one discipline will result in an incomplete understanding of the phenomenon. Human behavior is rarely explained satisfactorily through reference to the set of explanations offered by any one academic discipline such as criminology, psychology, or sociology. Instead, the answers to how and why humans behave as they do must rely on multiple explanations from a range of perspectives. We recognize that behavior is influenced biologically, psychologically, socially, historically, and politically, and this interdisciplinary vision has been our approach in this volume.
Violence: The Enduring Problem is also unique in that one of the primary themes of this book is that all violence is connected. While violence is often seen as consisting of discrete acts that are independent and separate from each other, the guiding premise of this book is that all violence is connected by a web of actions and behaviors, ideas, perceptions, and justifications that are explored throughout the different chapters. While the individual dynamics of specific violent behavior may vary somewhat, there are a number of threads that tie all violence together. By focusing on both interpersonal and group forms of violence, we hope we have been able to illustrate a number of these themes and linkages. This brings up another important point: Our book does not solely focus on individual acts of violence, but instead incorporates chapters on both individual and collective forms of violent behavior. Because most books on violence tend to focus on either one or the other, a distinctive contribution of this book is that we provide the reader with information and discussions about both categories of violence.
To assist the reader, we have scattered various tables, charts, photos, and other visual aids throughout the chapters to help make sense of the information being presented. Additionally, we have provided a number of“In Focus” boxes that let the reader explore a number of issues in greater detail than the main narratives of the chapters allow. Each chapter also ends with a listing of key terms and ideas, as well as some discussion exercises that can guide you in exploring some of the points raised in the chapters further. Throughout the individual chapters we have also systematized our discussion of social policy initiatives into “What Are We Doing About It?” sections to make it easier for the reader to identify those discussions in each chapter. We hope you find these pedagogical tools interesting and helpful.
This book does not provide all the answers to the age-old problem of violence, and we are not so naïve as to believe that this volume will change the world. We do, however, hope that it contributes to a better understanding of how and why we human beings so often engage in destructive and harmful behavior. If this better understanding contributes in some small way to making our world a little safer through greater self awareness, more restraint, and more rational and empirically grounded policies and actions, then our purpose will have been achieved.