Purpose – This paper aims to investigate Western studies on beliefs about aggression which have found that men typically hold instrumental beliefs and women hold expressive beliefs. Design/methodology/approach – To investigate whether beliefs about aggression are qualitatively different in an Indian sample, interviews were undertaken with focus groups of 16 and 26‐year‐olds from north‐east India. Findings – IPA analysis indicated that respondents viewed their aggression in terms of: how they might appear; honour or shame; gender roles; and as a loss of self‐control. These findings indicate that beliefs about aggression held in this Indian sample are more complex than can be characterised by the instrumental/expressive dimension. Practical implications – Implications of these findings for developing more culture‐specific measures of beliefs about aggression are discussed.
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 10, 2011
Keywords: Beliefs; Aggression; Collectivist culture; Instrumental and expressive beliefs; Self‐control; Shame; Gender roles
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