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Chapter 4

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Carleton University
SOCI 2445
Darryl Davies

Sociology of DevianceChapter 4 Page 5381Physical ViolenceAssault and Aggravated AssaultAssault involves the unlawful use of physical force against another personIt can be legally divided into two types aggravated and simpleAggravated assault involves an atrocious attack with the intent to kill or the use of a deadly weaponIt is considered a felony carrying a severe penaltyAll other forms of assault are simple hence considered a misdemeanour for which the punishment is less severeAggravated assault is basically similar to homicideLike murderers assaulters are more likely to be poor be black to victimize people of the same race to live in the South to reside in large cities to be men to have a violent past to commit the crime on the weekend etcAssaulters are less likely than murders to use firearms in committing the crimeIn the summer the number of homicides increases only slightly but assault rises significantlyIn the hot season people tend to go out more especially the poor who do not have airconditioningGoing out increases social interaction especially among strangers who are likely to get involved in assaultWho is more likely to KillClass and RaceHomicides are concentrated in the lower classPoverty is definitely a factor in homicidePoor whites have higher murder rates than betteroff whites and poor blacks have higher rates than richer blacksThe poor are more likely to have financial marital and other stressful problems which in turn tend to cause interpersonal conflictThe poor also tend more to resort to physical violence as a way of dealing with interpersonal conflictViolence is in effect a mechanism for getting respect because the poor generally consider violence a badge of toughness and masculinityAfrican Americans higher rate of homicide simply reflects their higher rate of poverty which along with racial discrimination generates greater frustration and alienationBlacks tend more to kill their fellow blacks than to kill whitesMost killings are intraracial for whites also do away with whites more than blacksInterracial murdersin which blacks kill whites and vice versaare rare because racial discrimination discourages interaction between blacks and whitesRegions Large Cities and Rural AreasGenerally the southern region has the highest murder rate the western region has the next highest rate and the northwestern and Midwestern states have the lowest rateGun ownership and execution of murders along with the history of lynching which are assumed to reflect a violent culture are most common in the SouthAnother reason could be the greater prevalence of rurality in the South The average murder rate in rural areas exceeds the rate in most citiesThe dispersion of people in rural areas as contrasted with the congestion of people in most cities reduces community integration thereby forcing family members friends and acquaintances to spend too much time with each otherThis enhances the opportunity for violent disruption in primary relationships among relatives and acquaintancesThe ruralityhomicide connection however seems to run counter to the popular belief that there are more killings in large citiesLarge cities do have more killingsRurality is related to homicide only if we compare the homicide rates of rural areas with those of most cities which are relatively small having populations of fewer than 50 000 peopleRural areas do have higher homicide rates than these small citiesLarger cities with populations exceeding 100000 have significantly higher murder rates than those for small cities and rural areasLarge city size encourages homicides by reducing community integrationUnlike rurality which reduces community integration through population dispersion large city size diminishes community integration via population heterogeneity The lack of community integration drives individualsanonymous urbanites as much as isolated ruralitesinto the same matrix of interactions among relatives and acquaintances that is likely to lead to homicidesAnonymous urbanites are more likely than isolated ruralites to kill strangers while isolated ruralites tend more to kill family members or intimate partnersGender and AgeMen are far more concerned about defending their manhood Most of the killings involve a man doing away with another manIf a man and woman are caught up in a homicidal interaction he is more likely to be the offender and she the victimMen who kill their wives or girlfriends do so mostly because they have persistently tried to keep their victims in an abusive relationshipMen tend to kill in response to their wives infidelity Men would also kill their wives as part of a murder suicide or a family massacreUnlike male offenders who are more likely to kill others of the same sex female offenders are more likely to kill members of the opposite sexThe female and male murderers usually commit the crime for different reasonsThe women rarely kill in response to their husbands infidelity even if their husbands are extremely adulterous
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