Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 490099
Title Frenzied attacks. A micro-sociological analysis of the emotional dynamics of extreme youth violence
Author(s) Weenink, D.
Source British Journal of Sociology 65 (2014)3. - ISSN 0007-1315 - p. 411 - 433.
Department(s) Rural Sociology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) criminal violence - 3rd parties - aggression - masculinity - management - night - bars
Abstract Inspired by phenomenological and interactionist studies of youth violence, this article offers an empirical evaluation of Collins's micro-sociological theory of violence. The main question is whether situations of extreme violence have distinct situational dynamics. Based on analyses of 159 interactions taken from judicial case files, situations of extreme youth violence, here called frenzied attacks, were identified on the basis of the state of encapsulation of the attackers (absorbed in the violence, their sole focus is the destruction of the victim) and the disproportionateness of the violence (the attackers continue to hurt the victims even though they do not pose a threat or a challenge to them). Qualitative and statistical analyses revealed that this emotional state results from a social figuration in which the emotional balance shifts toward complete dominance of the attackers. Thus, the occurrence of frenzied attacks is associated with the moment victims hit the ground, paralyse and start to apologize, with the numerical dominance of the attackers' supportive group and with feelings of group membership, in the form of solidarity excitement and family ties in the attackers' group. Alcohol intoxication is of influence as well, but contrary to the expectation, this effect was independent from solidarity excitement. The article concludes that Collins's theory on the emotional dynamics of violence adds a new dimension to the phenomenological and interactionist traditions of research.
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