Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world

Violence and Society

23 October 2018

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In September 2018 the second edition of Violence & Society (London: Sage) by Professor Larry Ray was published, following the first edition in 2011. The intervening years have seen some major developments, including rising rates of violence and deaths in conflict for the first time in two decades, the global resurgence of nationalist and anti-globalist politics (including Trump and Brexit), the refugee crisis, and a growth of academic interest in violence in sociology. The new edition has been updated throughout to develop a contemporary theoretically-informed analysis of violence and society.

The book considers 'what is violence?' and approaches this question on multiple levels – including historical, interpersonal, psychodynamic, collective and structural violence. Using case studies from his own research, this includes topics of the deep history of violence, urban violence, gender and violence, domestic violence, hate crime, homicide, collective violence, genocide, and media and violence. New to this edition are chapters on 'Collective Violence', 'Violence and the Visual' and 'Theories of Violence’. Material has also been added on sex offending, the night-time economy and forms of conflict resolution and violence reduction. The text is illustrated by 17 figures and five tables. The analysis is informed by a critical engagement with theories of society and social processes, in particular with that of Norbert Elias and the civilizing process. However, it engages also with debate and critique of contemporary theorists of violence, such as Thomas Scheff, Randall Collins and Steven Pinker. The psychodynamics of shame and violence is a theme carried through analysis of different levels and types of violence.

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Last Updated: 14/12/2017