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Psychology and Social Behavior
Raymond Novaco

Thucydides Violence & Society • Athenian fleet commander,5 century BC • after his defeat in 424, went into exile and became an historian • he is the first critical historian “History of the Peloponnesian Wars” • conflict between city states in Greece • Thucydides’ provides an account of the circumstances Raymond W. Novaco surrounding the war and its conduct • primary issue was trade routes; major loss of life University of California, Irvine Pericles’funeral oration for fallen soldiers P178/C149 • inspirational message of patriotism and valor • invocation of democratic ideals Fall 2014 January 16 lecture notes ! illustrates symbolic control of aggression and violence Pericles Funeral Oration (431 BC) Homicide (U.S. 1976-2005) • themes of great tragedy, patriotism, and an open society • first public funeral for Athenians who had died in the war • multi-day ceremony, including a great procession of the coffins 10.0 9.0 “We have more at stake than those with no such inheritance” 8.0 Previous War with Persia ( from Keegan,1993, History of W)rfare 7.0 In 490 BC, Darius lands at Marathon, leading an army of 50,000 which has come by naval vessels. The Athenians had a much Rate per 100,000 pop. th smaller force; but with their phalanx tactic, destroyed 1/7 of the 5.0 Persian force (Sparta arrived after the battle was decided). Darius commented on theAthenians’“destructive madness”.A messenger 19 19718981098129849816981899109 1991499169 200200022004 Data source: Bureau ofJustice StatisticCrime Reports ran 26 miles to Athens to announce the victory. • 10 yrs later, naval strategy emerged as a powerful method of war-making, truly strategic in charact(e.g. trieme, ramming attack) NCVS 2010 1 Gurr, T. (1989). Historical Trends in Violent Crime Gurr, T. (1989). Historical Trends in Violent Crime What is Gurr’s approach? On what does he base his assertions? What is Gurr’s position on the upward trend in violent crime that was observed in the US in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, and what would he say about the further peak in • he reviews homicide in medieval and modern England ""uses coroner’s reports and other scholarly sources homicide rates in the early 1990s? e.g., James Givens (1977) (UCI Professor of History) What is Gurr’s thesis about long-term historical trends in • he plots homicide rates from 1200 – end of 20 C violent crime? On what does he base his assertions? What is Gurr’s explanation for the long-term historical trend? • traces violent crime during 19 and 20 C in England & USA He offers a social dynamic explanation. What are the main concepts in his explanatory account? • finds overall decline in violent crime since medieval period • notes upturns after Civil War, immigration influx, baby boom Gurr (1989) -- historical trends explained Mennell (2006) – “civilizing process” • characterizations of recent upward trends in violent crime have • 1939 book by Norbert Elias, which aimed to explain the civilizing been mistaken oversimplifications and truncations of fact of violence in terms of progressive increases in self-restraint ""recent upsurge is simply latest deviation from long-term trend • Mennell adds Max Weber’s idea that growth in trade and markets • the long-term historical trend is a decline in violent crime since the fosters growth of rationality medieval period; this is established by coroners’reports, court records, and “modern” official crime reports; clearly for homicide - particularly with advances in trade and technology, the lives of people and what they produce become more valuable • Gurr’s explanatory social dynamic: the “civilizing process” (Elias) ""restraint of aggressive impulses and humanistic values ""restraint of aggression follows from growth in humanism ""increased valuation of non-violent means for goals ""self-constraint advances with greater empathy for others and ""internal and external controls on violent behavior lowered thresholds for shame and embarrassment ""sensitization to violence spread from social center to periphery Elias: transfer of emotions from direct action to spectating? • urbanization, industrialization, and war affect societal violence • desensitization among youth and unassimilated immigrants • Pinker: with lengthening of life span, we value our lives more Laqueur (1999) “terrorism and history” Violent Crime (U.S. 1976-2005) • provides an account of assassins, anarchists,millenarians, 500 and of revolutionaryzeal 400 It has been known for a long time: 300 • a small number of people can cause a
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