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SOCI 2445 (47)


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Carleton University
SOCI 2445
Darryl Davies

1The word terror incites many different feelings in people Some experience feelings of discomfort or excitement while others fear Many associate it with death and mystery how could someone reach a point in their lives where they want to terrorize others and more importantly act on these feelings The term terrorism and terror originated from the Latin word terrere The word was used initially by the French and eventually became an English term Its original meaning translated to trembling from fear or cause to tremble The definition has changed with each attack depending on the severity situation and those affected Many agree that terrorism is an evil act and harmful to society however those participating in these acts may view it differently Personal experiences can shape the way an individual thinks and perceives terrorism as a whole Peopledirectly involved in committing terrorist acts would perhaps not even perceive them as terrorismbut rather as a good act which is a positive service Individuals that have been negatively impacted by terroristic acts would feel much more strongly than those not affected by them Terrorism is a socially deviant behavior because it negatively effects peoples lives and breaks laws Overall terrorism effects many people including those who commit it and those whose lives are indirectly influenced by itTerrorism comes in many forms ranging from nonviolent to extremely violent behavior Being a terrorist does not necessary distinguish ones race gender or social class Scholars security professionals and political figures are examples of the kind of the variety terrorism can have We differentiate the types of terrorism by the intent as well as the consequences For example Bioterrorism is another form of terrorism referring to the release of toxic biological agents to harm and terrorize civilians in the name of a political or other cause Kendall 2012 Although many different forms of terrorism exist this paper focuses on 2Civil terrorism Civil disorder is defined as a form of collective violence interfering with the peace security and normal functioning of the community Kendall 2012In most cases a combination of variables such as marital status wealth and the influence of others can alter an individuals quality of life In most terror cases those responsible live in a world where they do not conform to society and are seeking other people who feel the same Many terrorists feel alienated and have a desire to fit in feel the need to take action against the social injustice that they are fighting and relate to the perceive victims of the social injustice they are fighting DeAngleis 60 This leads them to violence as they believe that violence is not an immoral act especially if it is against the state DeAngelis 60 These individuals are feeling strained within their society to reach a goal that in their belief is unattainable Once they have found others who believe the same things they create new goals for themselves which often involve harming anyone who has harmed them Individuals begin to feel a sense of comradery with others that share their ideas which inevitably turn into terrorist actions It is important to not only to look at who feels the effects of terrorist attacks but what combination of variables are responsible for an individual to make the immense decision to commit an act of terror In Western society we see the disastrous effects of terrorism through a certain lens because of mass media and lack of understanding To us it looks like an insanely inconsiderate and dangerous act performed by an individual who is mentally unstable and filled with unconditional hatredSociologist Robert K Mertons explains it is often assumed that economic failure is one of the significant sole features for people to become commit terrorist acts Merton 1999 However
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