Transitional processes culminating in extreme violence

Transitional processes culminating in extreme violence Purpose – This paper seeks to review transitional processes that foster transitions from non‐aggression to extreme aggression. Most studies on aggression focus either on traits within violent individuals or social contexts that generate violence, less attention has been paid to transitional mechanisms. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews “long‐term”, i.e. societal transitions that occur prior to and during genocides; mid‐term transitions such as induction into a military or paramilitary societies; and short‐term (situational) transitions that occur in situ . It reviews alterations in emotion, cognition, and behaviour that occur in these transitions and concludes with a description of the generated output behaviours of an extreme and often sadistic nature. Findings – The paper concludes with a review of Nell's “Pain‐Blood‐Death” complex as a hypothetical inherited disposition that may be triggered by any or all of these transitional processes leading to cruel aggression. Originality/value – The paper raises new concerns about the conceptualizing of extreme violence purely as an outcome of individual pathology and posits instead that a potential for cruelty may be part of our sociobiological heritage as a species. Furthermore, this potential may be tapped into by exposure to toxic war situations resulting in the manifestation of cruel and inhumane treatment of outgroups by soldiers from disparate societies and eras. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research Emerald Publishing

Transitional processes culminating in extreme violence

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1759-6599
DOI
10.1108/17596591211192984
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to review transitional processes that foster transitions from non‐aggression to extreme aggression. Most studies on aggression focus either on traits within violent individuals or social contexts that generate violence, less attention has been paid to transitional mechanisms. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews “long‐term”, i.e. societal transitions that occur prior to and during genocides; mid‐term transitions such as induction into a military or paramilitary societies; and short‐term (situational) transitions that occur in situ . It reviews alterations in emotion, cognition, and behaviour that occur in these transitions and concludes with a description of the generated output behaviours of an extreme and often sadistic nature. Findings – The paper concludes with a review of Nell's “Pain‐Blood‐Death” complex as a hypothetical inherited disposition that may be triggered by any or all of these transitional processes leading to cruel aggression. Originality/value – The paper raises new concerns about the conceptualizing of extreme violence purely as an outcome of individual pathology and posits instead that a potential for cruelty may be part of our sociobiological heritage as a species. Furthermore, this potential may be tapped into by exposure to toxic war situations resulting in the manifestation of cruel and inhumane treatment of outgroups by soldiers from disparate societies and eras.

Journal

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 13, 2012

Keywords: Violence; Cruelty; Military; Massacre; Transition; Rape; Armed forces

References

  • Extreme mass homicide: from military massacre to genocide
    Dutton, D.G.; Bond, M.H.; Boyanowsky, E.
  • Attribution theory and research
    Kelley, H.H.; Michela, J.L.
  • HCR‐20: Assessing Risk for Violence
    Webster, C.D.; Douglas, K.; Eaves, D.; Hart, S.D.

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