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In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view inViolence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. Violenceoverturns standard views about the root causes of violence and offers solutions for confronting it in the future.
Randall Collins is the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology and a member of the department of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Interaction Ritual Chains (Princeton) and The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change.
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations and Tables||p. ix|
|The Micro-sociology of Violent Confrontations||p. 1|
|Violent Situations||p. 1|
|Micro-evidence: Situational Recordings, Reconstructions, and Observations||p. 3|
|Comparing Situations across Types of Violence||p. 8|
|Fight Myths||p. 10|
|Violent Situations Are Shaped by an Emotional Field of Tension and Fear||p. 19|
|Alternative Theoretical Approaches||p. 20|
|Historical Evolution of Social Techniques for Controlling Confrontational Tension||p. 25|
|The Complementarity of Micro and Macro Theories||p. 34|
|The Dirty Secrets of Violence||p. 37|
|Confrontational Tension and Incompetent Violence||p. 39|
|Brave, Competent and Evenly Matched?||p. 39|
|The Central Reality: Confrontational Tension||p. 41|
|Tension/Fear and Non-performance in Military Combat||p. 43|
|Low Fighting Competence||p. 57|
|Friendly Fire and Bystander Hits||p. 59|
|Joy of Combat: Under What Conditions?||p. 66|
|The Continuum of Tension/Fear and Combat Performance||p. 68|
|Confrontational Tension in Policing and Non-Military Fighting||p. 70|
|Fear of What?||p. 73|
|Forward Panic||p. 83|
|Confrontational Tension and Release: Hot Rush, Piling On, Overkill||p. 89|
|Atrocities of War||p. 94|
|Caveat: The Multiple Causation of Atrocities||p. 99|
|Asymmetrical Entrainment of Forward Panic and Paralyzed Victims||p. 102|
|Forward Panics and One-Sided Casualties in Decisive Battles||p. 104|
|Atrocities of Peace||p. 112|
|Crowd Violence||p. 115|
|Demonstrators and Crowd-Control Forces||p. 121|
|The Crowd Multiplier||p. 128|
|Alternatives to Forward Panic||p. 132|
|Attacking the Weak: I. Domestic Abuse||p. 134|
|The Emotional Definition of the Situation||p. 134|
|Background and Foreground Explanations||p. 135|
|Abusing the Exceptionally Weak: Time-patterns from Normalcy to Atrocity||p. 137|
|Three Pathways: Normal Limited Conflict, Severe Forward Panic, and Terroristic Torture Regime||p. 141|
|Negotiating Interactional Techniques of Violence and Victimhood||p. 148|
|Attacking the Weak: II. Bullying, Mugging, and Holdups||p. 156|
|The Continuum of Total Institutions||p. 165|
|Muggings and Holdups||p. 174|
|Battening on Interactional Weakness||p. 186|
|Cleaned-up and Staged Violence||p. 191|
|Staging Fair Fights||p. 193|
|Hero versus Hero||p. 194|
|Audience Supports and Limits on Violence||p. 198|
|Fighting Schools and Fighting Manners||p. 207|
|Displaying Risk and Manipulating Danger in Sword and Pistol Duels||p. 212|
|The Decline of Elite Dueling and Its Replacement by the Gunfight||p. 220|
|Honor without Fairness: Vendettas as Chains of Unbalanced Fights||p. 223|
|Ephemeral Situational Honor and Leap-Frog Escalation to One-Gun Fights||p. 226|
|Behind the Facade of Honor and Disrespect||p. 229|
|The Cultural Prestige of Fair and Unfair Fights||p. 237|
|Violence as Fun and Entertainment||p. 242|
|Moral Holidays||p. 243|
|Looting and Destruction as Participation Sustainers||p. 245|
|The Wild Party as Elite Potlatch||p. 253|
|Carousing Zones and Boundary Exclusion Violence||p. 256|
|End-Resisting Violence||p. 259|
|Frustrated Carousing and Stirring up Effervescence||p. 261|
|Paradox: Why Does Most Intoxication Not Lead to Violence?||p. 263|
|The One-Fight-Per-Venue Limitation||p. 270|
|Fighting as Action and Fun||p. 274|
|Mock Fights and Mosh Pits||p. 277|
|Sports Violence||p. 282|
|Sports as Dramatically Contrived Conflicts||p. 283|
|Game Dynamics and Player Violence||p. 285|
|Winning by Practical Skills for Producing Emotional Energy Dominance||p. 296|
|The Timing of Player Violence: Loser-Frustration Fights and Turning-Point Fights||p. 302|
|Spectators' Game-Dependent Violence||p. 307|
|Offsite Fans' Violence: Celebration and Defeat Riots||p. 311|
|Offsite Violence as Sophisticated Technique: Soccer Hooligans||p. 315|
|The Dramatic Local Construction of Antagonistic Identities||p. 324|
|Revolt of the Audience in the Era of Entertainers' Domination||p. 328|
|Dynamics and Structure of Violent Situations||p. 335|
|How Fights Start, or Not||p. 337|
|Normal Limited Acrimony: Griping, Whining, Arguing, Quarreling||p. 338|
|Boasting and Blustering||p. 345|
|The Code of the Street: Institutionalized Bluster and Threat||p. 348|
|Pathways into the Tunnel of Violence||p. 360|
|The Violent Few||p. 370|
|Small Numbers of the Actively and Competently Violent||p. 370|
|Confrontation Leaders and Action-Seekers: Police||p. 375|
|Who Wins?||p. 381|
|Military Snipers: Concealed and Absorbed in Technique||p. 381|
|Fighter Pilot Aces: Aggressively Imposing Momentum||p. 387|
|In the Zone versus the Glaze of Combat: Micro-situational Techniques of Interactional Dominance||p. 399|
|The 9/11 Cockpit Fight||p. 409|
|Violence as Dominance in Emotional Attention Space||p. 413|
|What Does the Rest of the Crowd Do?||p. 413|
|Violence without Audiences: Professional Killers and Clandestine Violence||p. 430|
|Confrontation-Minimizing Terrorist Tactics||p. 440|
|Violent Niches in Confrontational Attention Space||p. 448|
|Practical Conclusions||p. 463|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|