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Why do individuals commit violent acts that injure or kill other people? This is perhaps the most difficult question for society to grapple with because there are so many types and levels of violence that finding a simple answer is impossible. Nevertheless, theorists have developed a range of explanations that include biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives on the causes and control of violent behavior.

The sociological explanations may be the most problematic because they suggest that it is not the individual criminal who is solely errant but that more broadly, something about society is responsible for producing violent behavior. When cross-cultural comparisons are performed, it is clear that some societies experience far greater violence than others. Therefore, an examination of sociological theories of violence can be ...

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