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Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory
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Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  5 reviews

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 in "Violence," arguing that violent confrontation goes against human
Hardcover, 563 pages
Published January 27th 2008 by Princeton University Press (first published January 7th 2008)
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Jeremy Adam
An astonishing encyclopedia of the causes and dynamics of violence, all pointing to one conclusion: far from being intrinsic to human nature, violence goes against our biological and psychological design.
A little bit different than his Interaction Ritual Chains since it uses a more wide array of evidence as to how violence happens (or does not happen).

The use of micro-sociological analysis on photographs and video recordings of violence is interesting and a novel approach.

The main thesis can be summarized as such: violence is an interactional accomplishment in a situation structured by emotions, most commonly what he calls "confrontational tension/fear". He also argues that violence is difficu
A tremendously interesting book on how violence happens. Collins focuses on what makes situations violent, not people violent and the result is a very strong case that violence is naturally self-limiting and very hard to carry out in most situations.

Unfortunately, the weakest section of the book was that on domestic violence and bullying, where the author largely fell back on generalizations (most likely because his preferred form of evidence - direct observations, videos, pictures and firsthand
Very good attempt to understand physical violence through what actually happens during various violent encounters. The author claims that violence is not natural for humans, who are programmed for mutual understanding and become extremely anxious in every violent encounter. He also points out that actual violence is extremely rare, much more so than we usually think. The author also analyses situations in which violence becomes viable, the least pleasant of which is a situation when the victim p ...more
Very dry, with only an occasional flash of wit, but riveting throughout, which is something special for a sociology book. The subject matter and the material presented within keeps it interesting for the general reader, i.e., me.
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